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TSX Ends Weak On Trade Concerns, Weak Economic Data

The Canadian stock market spent almost the entire session in the red on Friday as worries about U.S.-China trade dispute and disappointing Canadian jobs and housing data rendered the mood bearish.

The benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index edged up to 16,423.17 in early trades after opening with a negative gap at 16,371.99, but faltered soon and never made it to the positive territory again during the session.

The index, which declined to a low of 16,305.60, eventually ended the session at 16,341.34 with a loss of 63.19 points, or 0.39%.

However, for the index gained 0.44% in the truncated week. The market remained closed on Monday for Civic Holiday.

Materials, consumer discretionary and cannabis shares declined sharply. Telecommunications, financial and industrial shares were mostly weak.

A few stocks from energy and information technology stocks found some support and signed off with solid gains.

First Quantum Minerals (FM.TO), Teck Resources (TECK.B.TO), Semafo (SMF.TO), Canfor Corp. (CFP.TO), Lundin Mining (LUN.TO), Hudbay Minerals (HBM.TO) and Interfor Corp. (IFP.TO) lost 4 to 7%.

B2Gold Corp. (BTO.TO), Ssr Mining (SSRM.TO), Kirkland Lake Gold (KL.TO), Detour Gold Corp. (DGC.TO), Yamana Gold (YRI.TO), Kinross Gold (K.TO), Eldorado (ELD.TO) and Franco-Nevada (FNV.TO) ended lower by 1 to 3.4%.

In the consumer discretionary space, Linamar Corp. (LNR.TO) plunged more than 8%. The company reported net earnings of $150.2 million for the quarter ended June 2019, compared to $197.1 million in the year-ago quarter.

Restaurant Brands International (QSR.TO), Canada Goose Holdings (GOOS.TO), Dollarama (DOL.TO) and Brp Inc. (DOO.TO) also ended sharply lower.

Sleep Country Canada Holdings Inc. (ZZZ.TO) shares ended stronger by 12.3% after the company reported a 27.3% surge in gross profit in the second quarter of this financial year, over the year-ago quarter.

Among cannabis shares, Aphria Inc. (APHA.TO) and Cronos Group (CRON.TO), Aurora Cannabis (ACB.TO) declined sharply. Green Organic Dutchman Holdings (TGOD.TO) moved up 2.4%.

CannTrust Holdings (TRST.TO) shares plunged more than 6% early on in the session after the company's auditor withdrew its reports on the company's year-end and first-quarter results.

The move by KPMG LLP came after CannTrust said last week that it may have to restate its results for the periods ended Dec. 31 and March 31.

The stock, however, rebounded strongly in late afternoon trade and ended the session with a gain of over 40%.

Energy stocks Encana Corporation (ECA.TO) and Crescent Point Energy (CPG.TO) both ended stronger by nearly 2%. Precision Drilling (PD.TO) declined more than 5%.

In the banking space, Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO), Toronto-Dominion Bank and Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS.TO) shed 0.4 to 0.6%.

On the economic front, the Canadian economy lost 24.2 thousand jobs in July 2019 after shedding 2.2 thousand in the previous month and compared with market expectations of a 12.5 thousand gain. Meanwhile, full-time employment in Canada decreased by 11.60 in July 2019.

The unemployment rate in Canada rose to 5.7% in July from 5.5% in the previous month and compared with market expectations of 5.5%.

Meanwhile, the seasonally adjusted annual rates of housing starts in Canada dropped 9.6% from a month earlier to 222,013 units in July 2019, beating market expectations of 203,500.

The value of building permits in Canada was down 3.7% from a year ago to C$ 8.0 billion in June 2019, following a downwardly revised 12.2% slump in the prior month and against market expectations of a 1.5% rise.

U.S. stocks ended weak despite staging a recovery of sorts after a negative start. The Dow ended down 0.7%, the Nasdaq declined 0.6% and the S&P 500 eased 0.5%.

President Donald Trump's comments that the U.S. is "not going to do business" with Chinese tech giant Huawei rendered the mood week.

Trump also indicated he is "not ready" to make a trade deal with China, suggesting the U.S. could skip the next round of trade talks in September.

European markets ended notably lower, while markets across the Asia-Pacific region turned in a mixed performance.

In commodities, West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for September ended up $1.96, or about 3.7%, at $54.50 a barrel.

Gold futures for December ended down $1.00, or about 0.07%, at $1,508.50, off the session's high of $1,521.10.

Silver futures for September ended down $0.005, at $16.931 an ounce, while Copper futures for September settled at $2.5890 per pound, down $0.0185 from previous close.

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