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Canadian Shares Extending Recent Gains

After opening flat, the Canadian stock market rallied sharply Thursday morning, extending gains from previous two sessions, as investors continue to indulge in some strong buying after the U.S. Senate approved a massive $2 trillion relief package.

A multi-billion dollar relief package announced by the Canadian government on Wednesday continued to aid sentiment.

The benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index is up 419.10 points, or 3.19%, at 13,558.33.

On Wednesday, the index which more than 1,000 points at one stage, but gave up nearly half of its gains to eventually settle at 13,139.23, up 568.15 points, or 4.52%. The index had surged nearly 12% a day earlier.

Shares from healthcare, energy, financial and real estate sectors are rising sharply. Several stocks from utilities, telecommunications, information technology, industrial and consumer staples sections are also up with strong gains. Materials and consumer discretionary shares are relatively subdued.

In the healthcare section, Hexo Corp (HEXO.TO) is soaring more than 40%. Aurora Cannabis (ACB.TO) and Aphria Inc. (APHA.TO) are up 25% and 17%, respectively.

Among energy stocks, Vermilion Energy (VET.TO) is climbing up 17.4%. Crescent Point Energy (CPG.TO) and Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO) are up 12% and 10.3%, respectively. Cenovus Energy (CVE.TO) is up nearly 4%.

In the banking space, National Bank of Canada (NA.TO) is rising more than 8.5%, Fairfax Financial Holdings (FFH.TO) is up 7.5% and Manulife Financial Services (MFC.TO) is gaining about 6.5%. CDN Western Bank (CWB.TO), Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO), Laurentian Bank (LB.TO), Bank of Montreal (BMO.TO), Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS.TO), Sun Life Financial (SLF.TO) and Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO) are up 3 to 6%.

Air Canada (AC.TO), up 6.5%, is among the prominent gainers in the industrial space.

Lightspeed Pos (LSPD.TO), up nearly 30%, is the biggest gainer in the information technology space. Celestica Inc. (CLS.TO) is rising nearly 12% and BlackBerry (BB.TO) is up 7%. Sierra Wireless (SW.TO), Open Text Corporation (OTEX.TO), Enghouse Systems (ENGH.TO) and CGI Group (GIB.A.TO) are gaining 3 to 6%.

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