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Canadian Shares Drifting Lower On Profit Taking

Canadian stocks were edging lower after a weak start Tuesday morning with investors taking some profits after two successive days of strong gains.

Losses in European and U.S. markets and the reluctance of investors to pick up stocks ahead of the release of the minutes of the Federal Reserve's July meeting also contributed to the weakness in the market.

Telecommunications, consumer staples, energy, financial and industrials shares were mostly lower. Shares from consumer discretionary and utilities sections were mostly flat, while information technology and mining stocks found support.

The benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index, which declined to a low of 16,201.21, was down 64.64 points, or 0.4%, at 16,239.41 a little before noon.

The index had gained 0.96% and 0.86% in the previous two sessions.

Shopify Inc. (SHOP.TO) gained about 2.3%. Quarterhill Inc. (QTRH.To) and Constellation Software (CSU.TO) were up 1.2% and 0.8%, respectively.

Among materials shares, Iamgold Corp. (IMG.TO) climbed up 4.5%, Sandstorm Gold (SSL.TO), B2Gold Corp. (BTO.TO), Torex Gold Resources (TXG.TO), First Majestic Silver (FR.TO) and Ssr Mining (SSRM.TO) gained 3 to 3.5%.

Yamana Gold (YRI.TO), Semafo (SMF.TO), Novagold Resources (NGO.TO), Centerra Gold (CG.TO) and Detour Gold Corp. (DGC.TO) gained 2 to 3%.

CDN Western Bank (CWB.TO), Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO), National Bank of Canada (NA.TO), Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO), Bank of Montreal (BMO.TO) and Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CM.TO) declined 0.5 to 1%.

Among energy shares, Precision Drilling Corp (PD.TO) plunged 5% on profit taking after recent strong gains. Ensign Energy Services (ESI.TO), Kelt Exploration (KEL.To) and Encana Corp. (ECA.TO) shed 2.5 to 4%.

U.S. stocks were edging lower as well with traders looking ahead to the Fed minutes, due tomorrow, and the central bank Chief Jerome Powell's speech, due on Friday.

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

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