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TSX Ends On Firm Note On Earnings, Trade Deal Hopes

The Canadian market shrugged off a somewhat sluggish start and ended on a firm note on Wednesday, led by gains in consumer staples and financial sections.

There were strong gains for a few top stocks from telecommunications, materials and information technology sections as well.

The benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index ended up 63.72 points, or 0.38%, at 16,745.64, after scaling a low of 16,666.88 and a high of 16,766.58 intraday.

B2Gold Corp (BTO.TO) shares gained about 4% after reporting net income of $56 million ($0.05 per share) compared to $11 million ($0.01 per share) in the prior-year quarter.

Barrick Gold Corp (ABX.TO) ended higher by nearly 2.5% after the company said its adjusted net profit for the latest quarter tripled compared to the year-ago period thanks to higher gold output and surge in gold prices.

Information technology stock CGI Inc. (GIB.A.TO) gained 2.6%. The company reported net earnings of $324.1 million for the fourth quarter, an increase of 10.4% over the year-ago quarter. Fourth quarter revenue was $2.96 billion, an increase of $160.3 million or 5.7% compared with the same period last year.

Semafo Inc. (SMF.TO) declined more than 11%. First Quantum Minerals (FM.TO), Crescent Point Energy (CPG.TO) and Encana Corporation (ECA.TO) shed 3 to 5%. Whitecap Resources (WCP.TO) and Suncor Energy (SU.TO) lost 1.9% and 1.1%, respectively.

SSR Mining (SSRM.TO) climbed up 8.25%. Fairfax Financial Holdings (FFH.TO) rallied 2.8%. Franco-Nevada Corporation (FNV.TO), Air Canada (AC.TO) and Yamana Gold (YRI.TO) also ended with impressive gains.

In economic news, the Ivey PMI for Canada fell to 48.2 in October 2019 from 48.7 in the previous month. This is the lowest level for the index since March 2015.

U.S. stocks ended mixed after showing a lack of direction over the course of the session. The S&P 500 inched up 0.1%, the Dow edged down 0.07% and the Nasdaq dipped 0.3%.

Stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region turned in a mixed performance on Wednesday.

The major European markets all moved modestly higher on the day. While the French CAC 40 Index rose by 0.3%, the German DAX Index and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index inched up by 0.2% and 0.1%, respectively.

In commodities, West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for December ended down $0.88, or about 1.5%, at $56.35 a barrel.

Gold futures for December ended up $9.40, or about 0.6%, at $1,493.10 an ounce.

Silver futures for December ended up $0.030, at $17.598 an ounce, while Copper futures for December settled at $2.6650 per pound, down $0.0355 from previous close.

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