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Canadian Market Slightly Up After Early Setback

After opening on a weak note amid mounting worries about global growth due to escalating tensions on the trade front, the Canadian stock market recovered and was modestly higher Wednesday noon.

Mining stocks moved higher as gold prices rose on safe-haven appeal. Bargain hunting after six successive days of losses pushed up prices of a few top rung stocks from financial, information technology, industrial, consumer discretionary and consumer staples sections. Energy stocks declined as oil prices drifted lower.

The benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index was up 7.53 points, or 0.05%, at 16,157.02 at noon. Earlier, the index rose to a high of 16,193.67 after slipping to a low of 16,064.34.

The Capped Materials Index advanced 1.7%. B2Gold Corp. (BTO.TO) soared more than 11% after the company reported net income of $45 million ($0.04 per share) for the second quarter of this fiscal, compared to $28 million ($0.03 per share) in the same period last year.

Detour Gold Corp. (DGC.TO), Yamana Gold (YRI.TO), Centerra Gold Inc. (CG.TO), Kinross Gold Corp. (K.TO), Iamgold Corp. (IMG.TO), Alacer Gold (ASR.TO), Agnico Eagle Mines (AEM.TO), Franco-Nevada Corp. (FNV.TO), Barrick Gold Corp. (ABX.TO), Torex Gold Resources (TXG.TO), Wheaton Precious Metals (WPM.TO), Kirkland Lake Gold (KL.TO) and Osiska Gold (OR.TO) gained 2.5 to 7%.

Information technology stock Shopify Inc. (SHOP.TO) advanced 2.3%. Blackberry (BB.TO), Kinaxis Inc. (KXS.TO) and CGI Group (GIB.A.TO) posted modest gains.

In the consumer discretionary section, Restaurant Brands International (QSR.TO), Martinrea International (MRE.TO), Mty Food Group (MTY.TO), Magna International (MG.TO) and Canadian Tire Corporation (CTC.A.TO) were up with sharp to moderate gains.

Among the stocks in the Energy index, Nuvista Energy (NVA.TO) plunged nearly 17%. Ensign Energy Services (ESI.TO) declined 7.8%, Kelt Exploration (KEL.TO) shed 6.6%, Precision Drilling Corporation (PD.TO) lost 6% and Baytex Energy (BTE.TO) was down 5.8%.

MEG Energy (MEG.TO), Tourmaline Oil Corp. (TOU.TO), Crescent Point Energy (CPG.TO), Parex Resources (PXT.TO), Enerplus Corp. (ERF.TO), ARC Resources (ARX.TO) and Cenovus Energy (CVE.TO) were down 2 to 4.3%.

Husky Energy (HSE.TO), Imperial Oil (IMO.TO), Enerflex (EFX.TO), Encana Corp. (ECA.TO) and PrairieSky Royalty (PSK.TO) also declined sharply.

U.S. stocks retreated after opening higher, as investors switched focus to the movements in the currency market amid intensifying U.S.-China trade war. Some disappointing earnings reports too hurt sentiment.

The People's Bank of China set the midpoint for onshore yuan trading at 6.9996 per dollar, slightly stronger than the key 7.00 per dollar level but 0.4 percent weaker than 6.9683 on Tuesday.

European markets edged higher on bargain hunting after recent sharp losses, while Asian markets turned in a mixed performance.

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