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Mining, Technology Stocks Drag Down TSX

The Canadian stock market ended modestly lower on Friday, after spending almost the entire session in the red.

Investors were largely making cautious moves after data showing stronger than expected jobs growth in August reduced chances of a rate cut next month.

Weak gold prices weighed as well.

The benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index ended down 39.48 points, or 0.24%, at 16,535.33. The index touched a low of 16,519.85 and a high of 16,577.72 in the session.

The index gained 0.57% in the holiday shortened week.

Losses posted by mining and information technology shares contributed to the market's decline. Energy, industrial, financial and consumer discretionary shares turned in a mixed performance. A few stocks from telecommunications and consumer staples sections posted strong gains. Healthcare stocks outperformed.

Canopy Growth Corporation (WEED.TO) and Aurora Cannabis (ACB.TO) gained 4.3% and 3.5%, respectively. Aphria Inc. (APHA.TO), Cronos Group (CRON.TO), Hexo Corp (HEXO.TO) and Bausch Health Companies (BHC.TO) ended higher by 1.6 to 2.7%.

In the materials space, Eldorado Gold (ELD.TO), Novagold Resources (NG.TO), Torex Gold (TXG.TO), Wheaton Precious Metals (WPM.TO), Iamgold Corp (IMG.TO), B2Gold Corp (BTO.TO), Barrick Gold Corp (ABX.TO), Agnico Eagle Mines (AEM.TO), Detour Gold (DGC.TO), Kinross Gold Corp (K.TO), Yamana Gold (YRI.TO) and First Quantum Minerals (FM.TO) lost 2.5 to 6%.

Information technology shares Shopify Inc. (SHOP.TO), Enghouse Systems (ENGH.TO), Absolute Software (ABT.TO), BlackBerry (BB.TO), Kinaxis Inc. (KXS.TO) and Constellation Software (CSU.TO) lost 1 to 3.5%.

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.

U.S. stocks ended mixed after choppy trading following the release of a closely watched report from the Labor Department showing weaker than expected job growth in the month of August.

The report said non-farm payroll employment rose by 130,000 jobs in August after climbing by a downwardly revised 159,000 jobs in July.

Economists had expected employment to increase by about 158,000 jobs compared to the addition of 164,000 jobs originally reported for the previous month.

Unemployment rate held at 3.7% in August, unchanged from July and in line with economist expectations.

The Nasdaq ended down 0.2%, while the Dow and the S&P 500 edged up by 0.3% and 0.1%, respectively.

Major European markets closed with modest gains. Asian markets ended mostly higher.

In commodities, West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for October ended up $0.22, or about 0.4%, at $56.52 a barrel, recovering after early weakness.

Gold futures for December ended down $10.00, or about 0.7%, at $1,515.50 an ounce, well off the day's high of $1,536.20 an ounce.

Silver futures for December ended down $0.688, at $18.119 an ounce, while Copper futures for December settled at $2.6340 per pound, losing $0.0080.

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