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TSX Records Another Record Closing High

The Canadian benchmark hit another record high as stocks edged higher on Wednesday amid easing worries on the trade front after the U.S. and China signed a phase one of a trade agreement at Washington.

Gains recorded by cannabis shares and select materials and information technology stocks lifted the market. There were gains for stocks from consumer staples, utilities and real estate sectors as well. Financial, industrial and consumer discretionary stocks turned in a mixed performance, while energy stocks were weak.

The benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index ended up 62.27 points, or 0.36%, at 17,415.17, after recording a new all-time intraday high at 17,421.67.

The Capped Healthcare Index climbed 4.45%. Hexo Corp (HEXO.TO) and Aurora Cannabis (ACB.TO) gained 15.9% and 15.5%, respectively. Aphria Inc. (APHA.TO), Cronos Group Inc. (CRON.TO) and Canopy Growth Corporation (WEED.TO) gained 6%, 5.7% and 4.3%, respectively.

Knight Therapeutics Inc. (GUD.TO) and Bausch Health Companies (BHC.TO) gained 2.5% and 1.7%, respectively.

Organigram Holdings Inc. (OGI.TO) soared more than 44% after the company's first quarter net revenue more than doubled to $25.2 million from $12.4 million in the first quarter of 2019.

Information technology shares Opex Text Corp (OTEX.TO), Celestica Inc. (CLS.TO), Blackberry (BB.TO), Shopify Inc. (SHOP.TO), Photon Control (PHO.TO), Exfo Inc. (EXF.TO) and Lightspeed Pos Inc. (LSPD.TO) ended higher by 1 to 1.7%.

In the materials space, Novagold (NG.TO) gained 4.75%. Yamana Gold (YRI.TO), Kinross Gold (K.TO), Agnico Eagle Mines (AEM.TO), Semafo (SMF.TO), Alamos Gold (AGI.TO), Franco-Nevada Corp (FNV.TO), B2Gold Corp (BTO.TO) and Alacer Gold (ASR.TO) moved up 2 to 4%.

Canadian Tire Corporation (CTC.TO), George Weston (WN.TO) and Waste Connections (WCN.TO) ended with strong gains.

Baytex Energy (BTE.TO), Crescent Point Energy (CPG.TO), Manulife Financial Corporation (MFC.TO), Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO), CNOOC (CNU.TO) and Torex Gold Resources (TXG.TO) ended sharply higher.

Cogeco Communications (CCA.TO) plunged more than 9% after result fell short of expectations.

U.S. stocks climbed to new record intraday highs Wednesday morning but shed some gains as the session progressed. The Dow (up 0.3%) and the S&P 500 (up 0.2%) ended the session at new record closing highs. The Nasdaq closed lower by less than a tenth of a percent.

The U.S. and China signed the phase 1 trade deal this afternoon. The deal calls for China to purchase $200 billion worth of U.S. goods over the next two years, including up to $50 billion worth of agricultural products.

The deal also purportedly addresses issues such as intellectual property theft, forced technology transfers and currency manipulation by China.

In exchange, the U.S. will scrap a new round of tariffs and cut tariffs on approximately $120 billion worth of Chinese goods in half to 7.5%.

Trump noted a 25% tariff on $250 billion worth of Chinese imports will remain in place in order to give the U.S. leverage as the two countries enter into phase two negotiations.

Markets across the Asia-Pacific region and Europe ended mixed.

In commodities, West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for February ended down $0.42, or about 0.7%, at $57.81 a barrel, the lowest settlement price since early December 2019.

Gold futures for February ended up $9.40, or about 0.6%, at $1,554.00 an ounce.

Silver futures for March ended up $0.246 at $17.988 an ounce, while Copper futures for March gained $0.0075 to $2.8660 per pound.

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