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Canadian Shares Recovering After Weak Start

After a weak start, the Canadian stock market recovered and emerged into positive territory in late morning trades Monday and was up slightly a few minutes past noon.

The mood was cautious amid uncertainty about the upcoming trade talks between the U.S. and China making any significant progress towards a long term solution. According a Bloomberg report, Chinese officials are signaling they are increasingly reluctant to agree to the broad based trade deal being pursued by the U.S. President Donald Trump.

The report, citing senior Chinese officials, says the range of topics the officials are willing to discuss has narrowed considerably.

Gains in energy sections thanks to higher crude oil prices has helped pull the Canadian benchmark from negative territory. Financial, mining and information technology stocks are mixed, while healthcare shares are a bit weak.

The benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index, which declined to 16,394.49 in early trades, was up 15.10 points, or about 0.1%, at 16,464.45 a little past noon.

Energy shares Shawcor (SCL.TO), Cenovus Energy (CVE.TO), Candian Natural Resources (CNQ.To) and Imperial Oil (IMO.TO) gained 1 to 1.5%.

Maxar Technologies (MAXR.TO) was among the notable gainers in morning trades. The stock rose as much as 6%. Westshore Terminals (WTE.TO) gained 5.3%. Great Canadian Gaming Corporation (GC.TO), Canada Goose Holdings (GOOS.TO) and Shopify Inc. (SHOP.TO) gained 1.2 to 2%.

Dollarama (DOL.TO) declined 2.7%. Ag Growth International (AFN.TO), Canopy Growth Corporation (WEED.TO), West Fraser Timber (WFT.TO), Saputo (SAP.TO) and Enghouse Systems (ENGH.TO) shed 1 to 2%.

SNC-Lavalin Group Inc. (SNC.TO) today announced it has been awarded a three-year provision of operations and maintenance workforce contract from Shell Australia for its QGC upstream asset located in Queensland, Eastern Australia. The stock gained more than 2.5%.

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