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TSX Ends Marginally Down

The Canadian stock market ended marginally down on Thursday after languishing in negative territory right through the session, as worries about the coronavirus outbreak resurfaced after the adoption of new methodology for counting infections.

According to reports, there were 42 deaths from the virus in the Chinese province of Hubei on Wednesday - the bulk of it due to reclassification.

The number of new infections rose, with 14,840 people diagnosed with the virus.

The benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index ended down 11.68 points, or 0.07%, at 17,821.17, after having declined to a low of 17,750.78 earlier in the day.

A few top stocks from materials, consumer staples and industrial sections closed higher. Telecommunications, healthcare and energy shares were mostly lower.

Enbridge Inc. (ENB.TO) declined 2.4% on strong volumes. Cenovus Energy (CVE.TO) shed about 1.3%.

Manulife Financial Corporation (MFC.TO) declined by about 1.75%. The company said it earned $1.23 billion for the three months ended Dec. 31, up from $593 million a year earlier. Last year's net income included a restructuring charge.

Bombardier Inc. (BBD.B.TO) ended 6.4% up. Yamana Gold (YRI.TO), Barrick Gold Corporation (ABX.TO), Kinross Gold Corp (K.TO) and Aurora Cannabis (ACB.TO) gained 2 to 4.3%.

TFI International (TFII.TO) gained about 5.5%. Aura Minerals (ORA.TO) climbed 5%, while Canadian Tire Corporation (CTC.TO), Waste Connections (WN.TO) and Atco Ltd. (ACO.Y.TO) gained 2.5 to 3%.

West Fraser Timber (WFT.TO), Colliers International Group (CIGI.TO) and Constellation Software (CSU.TO) also rose sharply.

Domtar Corporation (UFS.TO), Canada Goose Holdings (GOOS.TO), Bausch Health Companies (BHC.TO) and Toromont Industries (TIH.TO) ended lower by 2.8% to 4.7%.

U.S. stocks ended modestly lower, on profit taking and on news of a jump in new coronavirus cases. Investors were also reacting to data showing a modest increase in consumer prices in the month of January, and a report that first-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits inched higher in the week ended February 8th.

The Dow declined 0.4%, while the Nasdaq and the S&P 500 dipped 0.1% and 0.2%, respectively.

Stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region ended mostly lower. The major European markets also ended weak despite paring most of the early losses.

In commodities, West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for March ended up $0.25, or about 0.5%, at $51.42 a barrel.

Gold futures for April ended up $7.20, or about 0.5%, at $1,578.80 an ounce.

Silver futures for March ended up $0.122 at $17.619 an ounce, while Copper futures for March settled at $2.6130 per pound, gaining $0.0130 for the session.

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