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Canadian Market Drifts Lower As Cannabis Shares Tumble

The Canadian stock market edged lower Friday morning, dragged down by losses in healthcare and information technology sections.

Consumer discretionary stocks moved higher, while stocks from other sectors were mostly sluggish in cautious trade amid lingering worries about U.S.-China trade dispute.

The benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index was down 33.37 points, or 0.2%, at 16,494.53, after declining to a low of 16,481.15.

The Capped Healthcare Index was down more than 3.5%, with cannabis shares suffering heavy losses.

Shares of CannTrust Holdings Inc. (TRST.TO) plunged more than 11%. The company announced that it is putting on hold sale and shipment of all cannabis products after Health Canada said inspections revealed the existence of several illegal grow rooms at an Ontario facility.

Cronos Group (CRON.TO) shed about 6.4%, Canopy Growth Corporation (WEED.TO) declined 5.7%, Aurora Cannabis (ACB.TO) lost nearly 5%, Hexo Corp. (HEXO.TO) and Aphria Inc. (APHA.TO) both shed about 3.5% and Green Organic Dutchman Holdings (TGOD.TO) lost 2.8%.

In the information technology space, Exfo Inc. (EXF.TO) and Shopify Inc. (SHOP.TO) lost 3.4% and 3.1%, respectively. Photon Control (PHO.TO), Kinaxis Inc. (KXS.TO), Enghouse Systems (ENGH.TO), Open Text Corporation (OTEX.TO) and Quarterhill Inc. (QTRH.TO) were down 0.6 to 2%.

MTY Food Group Inc. (MTY.TO) reported second-quarter net income of $19.3 million, or $0.76 per share, compared to $16.2 million, or $0.64 per share in the year-ago quarter. The stock was down by about 0.55%.

U.S. stocks moved higher this morning and major averages the Dow and the S&P 500 reached new record intraday highs as markets continued to benefit from renewed optimism about the Fed lowering interest rates later this month.

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