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Canadian Stocks Up In Positive Territory On Trade Deal Hopes

The Canadian stock market was up in positive territory after a steady start Monday morning, as renewed optimism about U.S.-China trade deal and easing worries about Brexit lifted sentiment and triggered buying in key stocks from information technology, industrials and energy sectors.

A few stocks from telecommunications, financial, utilities and consumer discretionary sections too moved higher, while shares from the materials section drifted lower on weak gold prices.

U.S. President Donald Trump commented on Friday that he thought an agreement would be signed by the time the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meetings take place in Chile on November 16 and 17.

Meanwhile, Liu said that China and the United States would work to address each other's core concerns on the basis of equality and mutual respect.

"China and the U.S. have made substantial progress in many aspects, and laid an important foundation for a phase one agreement," Liu said at a tech conference on Saturday, according to Bloomberg News.

The benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index was up 53.35 points, or 0.33%, at 16,430.47 around noon.

On Friday, the benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index ended down 49.18 points, or 0.3%, at 16,377.12, near the day's low.

The Capped Information Technology Index was up 1.75%. Shopify Inc. (SHOP.TO), Celestica Inc (CLS.TO) and BlackBerry (BB.TO) gained 2.5 to 2.75%. Open Text Corporation (OTEX.TO) was up nearly 2%, while Constellation Software (CSU.TO), Kinaxis Inc (KXS.TO) and CGI Group (GIB.A.TO) gained 1.2 to 1.6%.

Among the stocks in the industrials section, Stantec (STN.TO) moved up 3.2%. Transcontinental Inc. (TCL.A.TO), Air Canada (AC.TO), New Flyer Industries (NFI.TO), SNC-Lavalin (SNC.TO), WSP Global Inc. (WSP.TO), ATS Automation (STA.TO), Ag Growth International (AFN.TO) and Aecon Group Inc (ARE.TO) gained 1.2 to 2.5%.

In the energy space, Crescent Point Energy (CPG.TO), Tourmaline Oil Corp (TOU.TO), Vermilion Energy (VET.TO), Imperial Oil (IMO.TO), Husky Energy (HSE.TO), Cenovus Energy (CVE.TO) and Pasons Systems (PSI.TO) were up 1 to 2.5%.

Among bank stocks, CDN Western Bank (CWB.TO), Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO), Bank of Montreal (BMO.TO) and National Bank of Canada (NA.TO) gained 0.4 to 1.2%.

Hudsons Bay Company (HBC.TO) was the top performer in the consumer discretionary space. The stock rose 6.5% after the company announced that it has entered into a definitive arrangement agreement with a group of Hudson's Bay shareholders to take the company private. Under the terms of the Arrangement Agreement, the common shares of Hudson's Bay not held by the Shareholder Group, will be purchased for cancellation at a price of $10.30 per share in cash.

In the healthcare section, Hexo Corp (HEXO.TO) declined more than 5% and Aphria Inc. (APHA.TO) was down 2.1%. Aurora Cannabis (ACB.TO), Extendicare Inc. (EXE.TO) and Canopy Growth Corporation (WEED.TO) were down 1 to 1.25%.

Knight Therapeutics Inc (GUD.TO) shares soared more than 10% after the company announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire a 51.21% interest in Biotoscana Investments S.A. for approximately C$189 million in cash. Following completion of this transaction, Knight will launch a mandatory tender offer to acquire the remaining 48.79% interest in GBT from public shareholders on similar terms.

Gilden Activewear (GIL.TO) advanced 3.5%, while Brp Inc. (DOO.TO) and Linamar Corp (LNR.TO) gained 1.2% and 1%, respectively.

Iamgold Corp (IMG.TO), Detour Gold Corp (DGC.TO), Kinross Gold Corp (K.TO), Novagold (NG.TO), B2Gold Corp (BTO.TO), Yamana Gold (YRI.TO) and Eldorado Gold (ELD.TO) were down 2 to 5%.

Barrick Gold Corp (ABX.TO) declined 2.7%. The comany announced that it has agreed to pay US$300 million to the Tanzanian government to settle a long-running tax dispute between Tanzania and Acacia Mining, which Barrick acquired in a 951 million pounds deal approved by a U.K. court last month.

U.S. stocks were modestly higher with traders making some purchases amid optimism about the completion of phase one of a U.S.-China trade deal following comments from President Donald Trump and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He.

Major European markets closed higher and most of the markets across the Asia-Pacific region also ended on a positive note.

On the Brexit front, British Parliament delayed a vote on Prime Minister Boris Johnson's withdrawal deal, forcing him to seek another postponement of Britain's departure from the European Union.

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