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TSX Snaps Winning Streak, Ends Notably Lower

After closing the previous four sessions on a positive note, the Canadian stock market ended lower on Thursday as data showing a jump in job losses in Canada, and U.S.-China tensions over the virus spread weighed on sentiment.

Energy and materials shares suffered sharp losses, while shares from healthcare, information technology and consumer discretionary sectors posted strong gains.

The benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index ended down 112.78 points, or 0.75%, at 14,884.85, after having tumbled by more than 200 points at one stage.

In the energy section, Suncor Energy (SU.TO), PrairieSky Royalty (PSK.TO), MEG Energy (MEG.TO), Seven Generations Energy (VII.TO) and Husky Energy (HSE.TO) lost 3 to 4.75%.

ARC Resources (ARX.TO), Baytex Energy (BTE.TO), Enerflex (EFX.TO), Enerplus Corp (ERF.TO) and Parex Resources (PXT.TO) also declined sharply.

Among materials shares, First Quantum Minerals (FM.TO), SSR Mining (SSRM.TO), Yamana Gold (YRI.TO), Eldorado Gold (ELD.TO), MAG Silver Corp (MAG.TO), Barrick Gold Corp (ABX.TO) and Wheaton Precious Metals (WPM.TO) ended lower by 3 to 5%.

The Capped Healthcare Index climbed up 7.4%. Aurora Cannabis (ACB.TO) soared 35.3%, extending recent gains. Aurora announced on Wednesday that it struck a deal to acquire Reliva LLC, a popular retail cannabidiol brand in the U.S.

Cronos Group (CRON.TO) surged up 11%, while Hexo Corp (HEXO.TO), Aphria Inc. (APHA.TO) and Canopy Growth Corp (WEED.TO) gained 7.8 to 9%. Extendicare (EXE.TO) advanced nearly 3%.

Among technology stocks, Lightspeed Pos Inc (LSPD.TO) ended with a big gain of 37.8%. The company reported net loss of US$18.6 million for the quarter ended March 2020 compared with net loss of US$96.1 million a year ago when it took a one-time charge related to its preferred shares which converted into common shares ahead of its IPO.

Sierra Wireless (SW.TO), Shopify Inc (SHOP.TO) and Celestica (CLS.TO) gained 3.6 to 4.5%.

Consumer discretionary shares Mty Food (MTY.TO) and Canada Goose Holdings (GOOS.TO) gained 6.3% and 3.5%, respectively. Gildan Activewear (GIL.TO) moved up 2.15% and Restaurant Brands International (QSR.TO) gained nearly 2%.

Financial stocks Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO), Laurentian Bank (LB.TO), Bank of Montreal (BMO.TO), National Bank of Canada (NA.TO) and CDN Western Bank (CWB.TO) lost 1.4 to 2.7%.

On the economic front, data from ADP showed private businesses in Canada saw 226,700 job losses in April compared to 177,300 a month earlier.

Meanwhile, new housing prices in Canada were unchanged in April 2020, after rising 0.9% in the previous month. Economists had expected a 0.1% increase in new housing prices in April.

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