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TSX Rebounds After Weak Start, Ends Modestly Higher

The Canadian stock market recovered after a weak start on Thursday and spent the entire session past noon in positive territory, thanks largely to some strong buying in healthcare and information technology sections.

The mood remained cautious amid growing concerns about global economic slowdown. The latest batch of economic data out of the U.S. turned out to be disappointing, and markets now expect the Federal Reserve to announce another reduction in interest rates.

Uncertainty about U.S.-China trade deal and sluggish commodity prices too weighed on sentiment.

The benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index ended up 58.06 points, or 0.36%, at 16,369.03, after scaling a low of 16,198.09 and a high of 16,369.58 in the session.

On Wednesday, the benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index ended down 136.69 points, or 0.83%, at 16,310.97, after having plunged to a low of 16,223.59 earlier in the day. A day earlier, the index shed 1.27%.

The Capped Healthcare Index climbed up 4.65%. Aurora Cannabis (ACB.TO) gained more than 8%, riding on positive updates on its global operations.

Canopy Growth Corp (WEED.TO) ended stronger by 6.2%, while Aphria Inc. (APHA.TO), Hexo Corp. (HEXO.TO) and Cronos Group (CRON.TO) gained 4.3 to 5%. Bausch Health Companies (BHC.TO) and Extendicare (EXE.TO) moved up 3.2% and 2.3%, respectively, while Chartwell Retirement Residences (CSH.UN.TO) and Sienna Senior Living (SIA.TO) both ended higher by about 1.6%.

In the information technology space, Shopify Inc. (SHOP.TO) gained 5.2% and BlackBerry (BB.TO) gained 1.8%. Opex Text Corp (OTEX.TO), Photon Control (PHO.TO), Constellation Software (CSU.TO), Sierra Wireless (SW.TO) and Descartes Systems Group (DSG.TO) also ended on a firm note.

Encana Corporation (ECA.TO) and Yamana Gold (YRI.TO) gained nearly 4% and 1.1%, respectively on strong volumes.

BRP Inc. (DOO.TO), Waste Connections (WCN.TO), Fairfax Financial Holdings (FFH.TO), Cargojet Inc. (CJT.TO), Cogeco Communications (CCA.TO), Restaurant Brands International (QSR.TO) and Colliers International (CIGI.TO) were some of the other notable gainers in the session.

Linamar Corporation (LNR.TO) shares plunged more than 10%.

U.S. stocks ended higher due largely to bargain hunting after recent losses and on hopes the Fed will cut interest rates again to support economic expansion.

The Dow gained 0.5% and the S&P 500 settled 0.8% up, while the Nasdaq surged up 1.1%.

Stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly lower, while European markets ended mixed.

In commodities, West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures for November extended their losing streak to an eighth day and ended down $0.19, or about 0.4%, at $52.45 a barrel, the lowest settlement in nearly two months.

Gold futures for December ended up $5.90, or about 0.4%, at $1,513.80 an ounce, after hitting a high of $1,525.80 intraday.

Silver futures for December ended down $0.007, at $17.676 an ounce, while Copper futures for December settled at $2.5535 per pound, down $0.0170 from previous close.

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