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Canadian Shares Recovering After Weak Start

Canadian stocks were recovering after weak start Friday morning, with investors largely making cautious moves after stronger than expected jobs growth in August reduced chances of a rate cut next month.

Shares from energy, materials and industrials sections exhibited weakness. Healthcare stocks rallied sharply. Consumer staples, financial and telecommunications shares were turning in a mixed performance. Information technology stocks were quite subdued.

The benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index, which declined to a low of 16,519.85 in early trades, briefly emerged into positive territory, rising to 16,577.72, but edged down a bit subsequently to 16,561.00, netting a loss of 13.81 points, or 0.08%.

Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO) and Encana Corporation (ECA.TO) shed 2.1% and 1.6%, respectively, on strong volumes.

Enbridge Inc. (ENB.TO) was up marginally. According to reports, more than two dozen oil companies wrote to Canada's energy regulator on Thursday to support or oppose it intervening in Enbridge Inc's contentious proposal to overhaul shipping contracts on the Mainline pipeline network.

Materials shares B2Gold Corp. (BTO.TO), Kinross Gold Corporation (K.TO) and Barrick Gold Corporation (ABX.TO) lost 0.9 to 1.6%.

Canopy Growth Corporation (WEED.TO) climbed up nearly 6%. Aurora Cannabis (ACB.TO) gained 5.55%, and Cronos Group (CRON.TO) gained 5.4%, while Hexo Corp (HEXO.TO) and Aphria Inc. (APHA.TO) moved up 2.3% and 2.1%, respectively.

CannTrust Holdings (TRST.TO) shares were down nearly 2.5% after the company said its is laying off about 180 people following repeated problems with both its product and how it has been produced. The layoff amounts to about 20% of the company's workforce.

Finning International (FTT.TO), Bausch Health Companies (BHC.TO), Restaurant Brands International (QSR.TO), Colliers International Group (CIGI.TO), Descartes Systems Group (DSG.TO) and Alimentation Couche-Tard (ATD.B.TO) gained 1 to 2.6%.

Enghouse Systems (ENGH.TO), Canadian National Railway (CNR.TO), Canadian Pacific Railway (CP.TO) and Lightspeed POS (LSPD.TO) lost 1.4 to 2.5%.

On the economic front, data released by Statistics Canada this morning said the Canadian economy added 81.1 thousand jobs in August of 2019, after shedding 24.2 thousand in the previous month and beating market expectations of a 15 thousand gain.

Full Time Employment in Canada increased by 23,800 in August of 2019. Part time employment increased to 57,200 in the month, after falling by 12,600 a month earlier.

The unemployment rate remained unchanged at 5.7% in August 2019, in line with market expectations and matching the high of April.

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