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TSX Ends Modestly Lower

The Canadian stock market ended lower on Friday after moving in a very narrow range, as traders stayed wary of creating fresh long positions as they looked for clear signals.

Worries about global slowdown amid uncertainty about U.S.-China trade deal, geopolitical tensions and the Canadian currency's rise to near ten-month high weighed on stocks. A heavy sell-off in the healthcare sections, particularly in cannabis shares, led the market down.

The benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index ended down 39.78 points, or 0.24%, at 16,488.12.

The Capped Healthcare Index declined more than 4.5%. CannTrust Holdings (TRST.TO) plunged 17.3%. 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.

Canopy Growth Corporation (WEED.TO) shed about 8%, Cronos Group Inc. (CRON.TO) declined 6.2%, Aurora Cannabis (ACB.TO) ended nearly 6% down and Hexo Corp. (HEXO.TO) closed lower by 5.4%. Aphria Inc. (APHA.TO) and Green Organic Dutchman Holdings (TGOD.TO) ended lower by 4.8% and 3.1%, respectively.

There were some prominent losers in the Utilities section. Superior Plus Corp. (SPB.TO), Brookfield Infra Partners (BIP.UN.TO), Brookefield Renewables Partners (BEP.UN.TO), Fortis Inc. (FTS.TO) and Emera Incorporated (EMA.TO) lost 1 to 2.1%.

Information technology stocks Kinaxis Inc. (KXS.TO) and Shopify Inc. (SHOP.TO) declined by about 2% and 1.75%, respectively. Open Text Corp. (OTEX.TO) ended 1.2% down, while Photon Control (PHO.TO) and CGI Group (GIB.A.TO) lost about 0.9% each.

Consumer discretionary shares found support. Aritzia Inc. (ATZ.TO) rallied more than 7%, Martinrea International (MRE.TO) climbed up nearly 5% and Canada Goose Holdings (GOOS.TO) ended 4.4% up. Magna International (MG.TO), Great Canadian Gaming Corp. (GC.TO), The Stars Group (TSGI.TO) and Restaurant Brands International (QSR.TO) gained 1.5 to 2%.

In the financial section, Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO), Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS.TO) and Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CM.TO) lost 0.3 to 1%.

In the energy space, Encana Corp. (ECA.TO), ARC Resources (ARX.TO) and Husky Energy (HSE.TO) lost 1 to 2%, while Parex Resources (PXT.TO), Cenovus Energy (CVE.TO), PrairieSky Royalty (PSK.TO), Tourmaline Oil Corp. (TOU.TO) and Vermilion Energy (VET.TO) closed on a firm note.

Among materials shares New Gold Inc. (NGD.TO) gained more than 11% after the company reaffirmed annual production guidance.

Novagold Resources (NG.TO), Yamana Gold (YRI.TO), Eldorado Gold (ELD.TO), Oceana Gold (OGC.TO) and Osisko Gold Royalties (OR.TO) gained 3 to 4.2%. SSR Mining (SSRM.TO), Detour Gold Corp. (DGC.TO) and Endeavour Mining Corp. (EDV.TO) also rose sharply.

On the other hand, Hudbay Minerals (HBM.TO) shed 4.4%. Interfor Corp. (IFP.TO), Lundin Mining (LUN.TO), Norbord Inc. (OSB.TO) and First Majestic Silver Corp. (FR.TO) lost 1 to 1.6%.

U.S. stocks ended notably higher, extending the upward trend seen over the past few sessions. The major averages all ended the session at new record closing highs.

The Dow jumped 0.9%, the Nasdaq climbed 0.6% and the S&P 500 rose 0.5%.

The markets continued to benefit from renewed optimism about the Federal Reserve lowering interest rates as soon as its next meeting later this month.

European markets turned in a mixed performance, while markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly higher.

In commodities, West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for August ended at $60.21 a barrel, up just a penny over previous close.

Gold futures for August ended up $5.50, or 0.4%, at $1,412.20 an ounce.

Silver futures for September ended up $0.090, at $15.236 an ounce, while Copper futures for September settled at $2.6940 per pound, gaining $0.0065 for the session.

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