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TSX Records New Closing High

Canadian stocks hit a new high on Thursday as the mood remained bullish amid easing worries about U.S.-Iran tensions and on optimism about U.S.-China phase one trade deal.

Information technology and healthcare stocks moved higher. Energy, industrial, consumer staples, consumer discretionary and financial shares also found support. Materials stocks declined, while financial shares turned in a mixed performance.

The benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index ended up 67.75 points, or 0.39%, at 17,235.57, after hitting a record high at 17,255.51.

Information technology shares Photon Control (PHO.TO), Shopify Inc. (SHOP.TO), Kinaxis Inc. (KXS.TO), Lightspeed Pos (LPSD.TO), Descartes Systems (DSG.TO), Open Text Corp (OTEX.TO) and Enghouse Systems (ENGH.TO) gained 2 to 5%. CGI Group (GIB.A.TO), Constellation Software (CSU.TO) and Quarterhill Inc. (QTRH.TO) also ended notably higher.

In the healthcare space, Aurora Cannabis (ACB.TO), Hexo Corp (HEXO.TO) and Cronos Group Inc. (CRON.TO) gained more than 6.5%. Canopy Growth Corp (WEED.TO) gained 3.75%, while Aphria Inc. (APHA.TO) and Knight Therapeutics (GUD.TO) moved up 1.6% and 1.45%, respectively.

Shares of fashion retailer Aritzia Inc. (ATZ.TO) soared 17% after the company said its net revenue increased 10% in the quarter compared with a year ago, while comparable store sales, a key metric for retailers, rose 5.1%.

On the economic front, a report from Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation said housing starts in Canada declined 3% in December, compared to a month earlier.

Data from Statistics Canada showed value of building permits decreased 2.4% to $8.1 billion in November.

U.S. stocks ended higher, extending gains from previous session. The major averages finished the day firmly in positive territory. The Dow climbed 0.7%, the Nasdaq advanced 0.8% and the S&P 500 ended up 0.7%.

Easing concerns about the conflict between the U.S. and Iran contributed to the continued strength on Wall Street amid signs of de-escalation.

Most of the markets across the Asia-Pacific region and Europe ended higher amid easing concerns about U.S.-Iran conflict.

In commodities, West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for February ended down $0.05, or 0.03%, at $59.56 a barrel, coming off the session's low of $58.66 a barrel.

Gold futures for February ended down $5.90, or about 0.4%, at $1,554.30 an ounce.

Silver futures for March ended down $0.231 at $17.936 an ounce, while Copper futures for March ended at $2.8020 per pound, down $0.0100 from previous close.

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