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Canadian Shares Exhibiting Weakness In Cautious Trade

After a weak start and a subsequent rebound into positive territory, Canadian stocks retreated Tuesday morning, and are currently exhibiting weakness amid cautious moves by investors.

Worries about the impact of the coronavirus on the global economy, Apple Inc's warning that it is unlikely to meet its sales target for the March quarter, and a sharp fall in crude oil prices are weighing on sentiment.

The benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index is down 29.17 points, or 0.16%, at 17,819.19 a few minutes past noon. Earlier, the index had recovered to 17,871.34 after a weak start.

Consumer discretionary, energy and industrial shares are mostly lower. Shares from financial and healthcare sections are also a bit subdued.

Materials shares are moving up. A few stocks from utilities, real estate, telecommunications and information technology sections are up with notable gains.

Bombardier Inc. (BBD.B.TO) is down as much as 8.75%. The company announced that it has reached a US$8.2-billion deal to sell its rail business to French rail giant Alstom SA.

Air Canada (AC.TO) is lower by about 3%. Air Canada said today that its first quarter is expected to be hurt by the suspension of flights to mainland China and from Toronto to Hong Kong due to the novel coronavirus, the continued grounding of its fleet of Boeing 737 MAX aircraft and increased maintenance and pension costs.

The airline, which reported net profit of $152 million or $0.56 per diluted share in the fourth-quarter, compared to net loss of $360 million or $1.33 per share in the year-ago quarter. The company said it expects first-quarter EBITDA to be about $200 million lower than the first quarter of 2019.

Baytex Energy (BTE.TO), Enbridge Inc (ENB.TO), Agnico Eagle Mines (AEM.TO) and Manulife Financial Corporation (MFC.TO) are down with sharp to moderate losses.

Ballard Power Systems (BLDP.TO) is rising nearly 8.5%. B2Gold Corp (BTO.TO) is up 5.4%, Yamana Gold (YRI.TO) is gaining about 5.4% and BlackBerry (BB.TO) is rising 4.4%.

Barrick Gold Corporation (ABX.TO), Kinross Gold Corp (K.TO) and Aurora Cannabis (ACB.TO) are up 3.5%, 3.3% and 3%, respectively.

On the economic front, data from Statistics Canada showed manufacturing sales in Canada dropped 0.7% over a month earlier to C$ 57.0 billion in December 2019, following an upwardly revised 1% fall in the previous month.

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