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Canadian Shares Notably Higher On Trade Talks Hopes

Canadian shares were notably higher in late morning trades on Thursday, gaining in strength after a steady start, on renewed optimism about U.S.-China trade talks and some upbeat economic data from the U.S.

Higher crude oil prices and slightly fading concerns about political tensions in Hong Kong and the U.K. continued to support the market.

The benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index was up 138.07 points, or 0.84%, at 16,586.91, after rising to a high of 16,604.40, not far from a record high of 16,672.71, it had touched in late April this year.

Energy shares were up sharply after crude oil futures jumped nearly 2.5%. Mirroring strong buying in that space, the Capped Energy Index gained nearly 3%. Industrials, information technology, financial, healthcare and consumer discretionary shares were also mostly up with impressive gains.

Materials shares declined sharply after gold prices tumbled more than 2%. The Capped Materials Index tumbled 2.7%.

MEG Energy (MEG.TO), Baytex Energy (BTE.TO), Encana Corporation (ECA.TO) and Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO) gained 4 to 4.5%. Crescent Point Energy (CPG.TO) moved up 3.4% and Enbridge (ENB.TO) gained about 1.5%.

Barrick Gold Corporation (ABX.TO), B2Gold Corp (BTO.TO), Yamana Gold (YRI.TO) and Kinross Gold Corp (K.TO) lost 4 to 6%.

Manulife Financial Corporation (MFC.TO), up 3.2%, was among the prominent gainers in the financial space. Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO) advanced 1.4%.

Among industrials shares, Bombardier (BBD.B.TO) rallied nearly 4%.

In the cannabis space, Aurora Cannabis (ACB.TO) gained 1.5%. Green Organic Dutchman Holdings (TGOD.TO) declined 1.2%.

U.S. stocks moved up sharply Thursday morning, with investors reacting positively to news that the U.S. and China plan to hold high level trade talks in early October.

"Both sides agreed they should work together and take practical actions to create favorable conditions for the negotiations," China's Commerce Ministry is reported to have said.

The market was also supported by data showing stronger than expected private sector growth in August and the report from the Institute for Supply Management that showed a notable acceleration in the pace of growth in U.S. service sector activity in the month of August.

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