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Canadian Market Pares Early Gains, But Stays Positive Around Noon

The Canadian stock market was up in positive territory around noon on Friday, despite giving up some early gains amid cautious moves by investors.

Optimism about a cut in U.S. interest rate later this month and higher commodity prices set up a firm start even as disappointing retail sales data weighed on sentiment.

The benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index, which advanced to 16,573.68 in early trades, dropped to a low of 16,494.45 later on and was up 15.96 points, or 0.1%, at 16,510.19 around noon.

Information technology and consumer discretionary shares were among the notable gainers. Shares from all other sections were turning in a mixed performance.

Information technology shares Shopify Inc. (SHOP.TO), Celestica Inc. (CLS.TO), Descartes Systems Group (DSG.TO) and BlackBerry (BB.TO) were up 1.2 to 1.8%.

Among consumer discretionary shares, Aritzia (ATZ.TO), Magna International (MG.TO), Canada Goose Holdings (GOOS.TO), Linamar Corp. (LNR.TO) and Martinrea International (MRE.TO) gained 1.7 to 2%. Uni Select (UNS.TO) and Dollarama Inc. (DOL.TO) were up 1.1% and 0.8%, respectively.

Materials shares Lundin Mining Corporation (LUN.TO) and Oceanagold Corporation (OGC.TO) were up 4.2% and 4.7%, respectively. Hudbay Minerals (HBM.TO) rallied 5.4% and First Quantum Minerals (FM.TO) was up nearly 6%.

On the other handd, B2Gold Corp (BTO.TO), Iamgold Corporation (IMG.TO) and Barrick Gold Corporation (ABX.TO) were trading weak.

In the energy space, Crescent Point Energy (CPG.TO) moved up 1.75% and Encana Corporation (ECA.TO) advanced 0.7%.

Data released by Statistics Canada this morning showed that the nation's retail sales unexpectedly fell for the first time in four months in May.

The data showed retail sales fell 0.1% on a seasonally adjusted monthly basis in May, following a revised 0.2% rise in April. Economists had forecast a 0.3% increase.

Core retail sales, excluding motor vehicle and parts dealers, dropped 0.3% after a revised flat reading in the previous month. Economists were looking for a gain of 0.3%.

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