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TSX Ends Modestly Higher After Choppy Ride

The Canadian stock market shrugged off a weak start, moved into positive territory by mid morning, and despite staying a big sluggish thereafter, ended modestly higher on Tuesday.

The mood was cautious right through the session, with investors looking ahead to upcoming monetary policy meetings of the European Central Bank, Bank of Japan and the U.S. Federal Reserve.

Strong gains in energy and healthcare shares contributed notably to market's positive close. Information technology shares declined, while a few stocks from financial section posted notable gains.

The benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index ended up 42.25 points, or 0.26%, at 16,537.34. The index scaled a low of 16,459.40 and a high of 16,537.34 in the session.

Energy shares Ensign Energy Services (ESI.TO), Tourmaline Oil Corp (TOU.TO), Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO), Husky Energy (HSE.TO), Crescent Point Energy (CPG.TO), Seven Generations Energy (VII.TO) and Kelt Exploration (KEL.TO) gained 3 to 4%.

Whitecap Resources (WCP.TO), Imperial Oil (IMO.TO), Enerflex (EFX.TO), MEG Energy (MEG.TO), Vermilion Energy (VET.TO), PrairieSky Royalty (PSK.TO), Parex Resources (PXT.TO) and Shawcor (SCL.TO) also closed notably higher.

Suncor Energy (SU.TO) ended 2.2% up after the company said it will spend $1.4 billion to replace its coke-fired boilers with two cogeneration units at its oilsands base plant north of Fort McMurray, Alta. The company says the units will provide steam generation for its extraction and upgrading operations and generate 800 megawatts of power.

Encana Corp (ECA.TO) declined by about 0.5%. Encana announced that Michael McAllister has been promoted as the president of the company and Greg Givens has been appointed the chief operating officer. McAllister previously served as the company's executive vice president and chief operating officer, while Givens previously served as vice president and general manager of Texas Operations.

In the financial space, Bank of Montreal (BMO.TO), Laurentian Bank (LB.TO), Onex Corp (ONEX.TO), Manulife Financial (MFC.TO), CDN Western Bank (CWB.TO), Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO) and Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO) gained 1 to 2%.

Among miners, Hudbay Minerals (HBM.TO), Interfor Corp (IFP.TO), West Frazer Timber (WFT.TO), Lundin Mining (LUN.TO), Methanex Corp (MX.TO) and Teck Resources (TECK.B.TO) gained 3 to 7%.

First Quantum Minerals (FM.TO), Norbord (OSB.TO), Nutrien (NTR.TO) and Ssr Mining (SSRM.TO) also ended sharply higher.

Kirkland Lake Gold (KL.TO), Eldorado Gold (ELD.TO), B2Gold Corp (BTO.TO), Agnico Eagle Mines (AEM.TO) and Yamana Gold (YRI.TO) declined sharply.

In the healthcare space, Aurora Cannabis (ACB.TO) gained 4.3%, Cronos Group (CRON.TO) advanced 3.8%, Aphria Inc. (APHA.TO) gained 2.5% and Bausch Health Companies (BHC.TO) ended 1.7% up, while Canopy Growth Corporation (WEED.TO) ended higher by about 1.05%.

Information technology stock Shopify Inc (SHOP.TO) declined more than 6% after the company announced that it will buy fulfillment solutions company 6 River Systems Inc. in a US$450 million cash and share deal as it looks to push further into the warehousing and shipping side of online retail.

Kinaxis Inc (KXS.TO) and Constellation Software (CSU.TO) ended lower by 2.8% and 2.3%, respectively. On the other hand, Blackberry (BB.TO), Sierra Wireless (SW.TO), Exfo Inc. (EXF.TO) and Absolute Software Corp (ABT.TO) ended with strong gains.

In economic news, housing starts in Canada increased to 226,639 units in August, up 1.9% from a month earlier.

Meanwhile, the value of building permits in Canada rose 3% from a year earlier to C$ 8.3 billion in July 2019, rebounding from a downwardly revised 3.1% fall in the previous month and beating market expectations of a 2.9% gain.

U.S. stocks ended roughly flat after a choppy session amid uncertainty ahead of the European Central Bank's monetary policy decision on Thursday as well as next week's Federal Reserve meeting.

The Down ended 0.3% up and the S&P 500 edged up slightly, while the Nasdaq ended a bit weak.

Stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region turned in a mixed performance, while markets in Europe ended mostly higher.

In commodities, West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for October ended down $0.45, or about 0.8%, at $57.40 a barrel.

Gold futures for December ended down $11.90, or about 0.8%, at $1,499.20 an ounce, the lowest close in about five weeks.

Silver futures for December ended up $0.019, at $18.186 an ounce, while Copper futures for December settled at $2.6280 per pound, up $0.0005 for the session.

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