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Canadian Shares Losing Ground On Growth Worries, Virus Fears

The Canadian stock market opened on a weak note Friday morning and slipped deeper into the red, weighed down by rising concerns about the coronavirus pandemic after reports showed another sharp surge in new cases in the U.S. and few other countries.

The market is also reacting to the Federal Reserve's report after the stress tests on U.S. Banks. The Fed said the biggest banks in the country are healthy but could suffer up to $700 billion in losses on soured loans if the economy continues to languish. The Fed ordered the banks to cap dividend payments and suspend share buyback programs.

Energy, healthcare and financial shares are among the major losers. Consumer discretionary and consumer staples shares are also mostly weak.

The benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index is down 200.54 points or 1.3% at 15,245.60 about a quarter past noon. The index touched a low of 15,199.30 earlier in the session.

Shawcor Ltd (SCL.TO) shares are plunging nearly 6.5%. Vermillion Energy (VET.TO), Seven Generations Energy (VII.TO), Cenovus Energy (CVE.TO), Husky Energy (HSE.TO), Enerflex (EFX.TO), Whitecap Resources (WCP.TO), Crescent Point Energy (CPG.TO), ARC Resources (ARX.TO), Suncor Energy (SU.TO) and Tourmaline Oil Corp (TOU.TO) are down 2 to 5.2%.

Among the stocks in the healthcare index, Knight Therapeutics (GUD.TO) is losing more than 7%. Hexo Corp (HEXO.TO) and Extendicare Inc. (EXE.TO) are down 4% and 3.2%, respectively. Cronos Group (CRON.TO), Aurora Cannabis (ACB.TO), Canopy Growth Corp (WEED.TO) and Bausch Health Companies (BHC.TO) are lower by 1.6 to 2%.

In the financial section, Bank of Montreal (BMO.TO), Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CM.TO), CDN Western Bank (CWB.TO), Manulife Financial Corp (MFC.TO), National Bank of Canada (NA.TO), Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS.TO), Power Corporation of Canada (POW.TO), Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO) and Laurentian Bank (LB.TO) are down 2 to 4%.

Air Canada (AC.TO), Nutrien (NTR.TO), Magna International (MG.TO) and George Weston (WN.TO) are among the notable losers from other sectors.

On the other hand, B2Gold Corp (BTO.TO) is rising 2.7% and Lundin Mining Corporation (LUN.TO) is advancing 1.6%, while Kinross Gold Corporation (K.TO) is up 1.3%.

Shares of Rogers Communications (RCI.A.TO), Newmont Corporation (NGT.TO), Stantec (STN.TO), BRP Inc. (DOO.TO) and Constellation Software (CSU.TO) are up 1 to 1.6%.

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