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TSX Ends Modestly Lower

The Canadian stock market ended weak on Friday, weighed down by reports confirming the second case of the coronavirus in the U.S., and on falling oil prices.

The benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index ended down 56.44 points, or 0.32%, at 17,565.34, after scaling a low of 17,514.66 and a high of 17,646.35 intraday.

Healthcare, energy and consumer discretionary shares were the major losers. The Capped Healthcare Index tumbled 4.73%. The Capped Energy Index declined 1.77% and the Capped Consumer Discretionary Index ended down 1.05%.

Materials shares moved up after gold prices advanced on safe-haven appeal. Industrial, consumer staples, information technology and financial shares turned in a mixed performance.

Cronos Group Inc. (CRON.TO), Aphria Inc. (APHA.TO), Canopy Growth Corporation (WEED.TO) and Hexo Corp (HEXO.TO) lost 6.6 to 8.8%. Aurora Cannabis (ACB.TO) declined 4.75% and Bausch Health Companies (BHC.TO) shed 2.7%.

In the energy section, Baytex Energy (BTE.TO), Crescent Point Energy (CPG.TO), Encana Corp (ECA.TO), Cenovus Energy (CVE.TO) and Whitecap Resources (WCP.TO) lost 2.8 to 5.6%. Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO), Enerplus (ERF.TO) and Tourmaline Oil Corp (TOU.TO) also declined sharply.

Among industrial shares, Magna International (MG.TO), Restaurant Brands International (QSR.TO), Great Canadian Gaming Corp (GC.TO), Canada Goose Holdings (GOOS.TO) and Mty Food Group (MTY.TO) lost 1.3 to 1.6%.

Ballard Power Systems (BLDP.TO) soared more than 9%. Canadian Tire Corporation (CTC.TO), Pan American Silver Corp (PAAS.TO), Ag Growth International (AFN.TO), Wheaton Precious Metals (WPM.TO), Agnico Eagle Mines (AEM.TO), BRP Inc. (DOO.TO) and Franco-Nevada Corporation (FNV.TO) also closed on a firm note.

Concerns about coronavirus outbreak resurfaced after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed the second case of the virus in the U.S.

Worries about coronavirus spread had eased a bit earlier after the World Health Organization said on Thursday that it was too early to declare the situation a global health emergency.

U.S. stocks ended weak on virus concerns. The Dow ended down 0.6%, while the Nasdaq and the S&P 500 both ended lower by 0.5%.

Stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region ended with modest gains. European markets too closed on a firm note.

In commodities, West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for March ended down $1.40, or about 2.5%, at $54.19 a barrel.

Gold futures for February ended up $6.50, or about 0.4%, at $1,571.90 an ounce, the highest settlement since January 7.

Silver futures for March ended up $0.284 at $18.113 an ounce, while Copper futures for March settled at $2.6840 per pound, down $0.0420 from previous close.

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