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TSX Ends Modestly Higher

The Canadian stock market ended modestly higher on Friday, although the mood remained cautious amid continued worries about the economic impact of the coronavirus outbreak in China.

Also, investors appeared reluctant to make significant moves ahead of a long weekend. The market will remain closed on Monday for Family Day holiday.

Activity was mostly stock specific with quarterly earnings reports providing some direction.

The benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index ended up 27.19 points, or 0.15%, at 17,848.36, about 50 points off the day's low of 17,798.64.

The Capped Healthcare Index surged up nearly 6%. Hexo Corp (HEXO.TO) climbed more than 19% and Canopy Growth Corp (WEED.TO) spurted nearly 16%.

Cronos Group (CRON.TO), Aurora Cannabis (ACB.TO) and Aphria Inc. (APHA.TO) gained 6.25%, 5.1% and 4%, respectively. Extendicare (EXE.TO), Sienna Senior Living (SJA.TO) and Baush Health Companies (BHC.TO) gained 1 to 1.5%.

Barrick Gold Corp (ABX.TO), Yamana Gold (YRI.TO) and Suncor Energy (SU.TO) ended with solid gains on strong volumes.

Agnico Eagle Mines (AEM.TO) plunged nearly 16%. Bombardier Inc. (BBD.B.TO) and Cenovus Energy (CVE.TO) declined 1.3% and 1%, respectively.

On the economic front, a report from the Canadian Real Estate Association said actual sales rose 11.5% in January from a year earlier, while the group's Home Price Index was up 4.7% from January last year.

U.S. stocks ended mixed after a choppy session, with investors digesting a slew of economic data. The Dow edged down 0.1%, while the Nasdaq and the S&P 500 both ended higher by 0.2%.

Stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region turned in a mixed performance. Major European markets ended mostly lower.

In commodities, West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures ended up $0.63, or about 1.2%, at $52.05 a barrel.

Gold futures for April ended up $7.60, or about 0.5%, at $1,586.40 an ounce.

Silver futures for March ended up $0.115 at $17.734 an ounce, while Copper futures for March settled at $2.6130 per pound, gaining $0.0130.

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