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TSX Ends Moderately Lower

The Canadian stock market recovered after a weak start Tuesday morning, but retreated soon and spent rest of the session in negative territory to eventually close moderately lower.

The mood was cautious with investors reacting to news about spikes in coronavirus cases and U.S.-China tensions, and looking ahead to the upcoming monetary policy announcement from the Federal Reserve, and the U.S. government's coronavirus relief package.

The benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index ended down 40.01 points or 0.25% at 16,121.32, after scaling a low of 16,085.26 and a high of 16,189.48 intraday.

Energy stocks slipped as crude oil prices declined on concerns about outlook for energy demand. Consumer discretionary and financial stocks also were mostly weak. Materials, industrial and information technology stocks turned in a mixed performance. Healthcare stocks rose sharply. Real estate stocks too found support.

In the healthcare space, Canopy Growth Corp (WEED.TO) soared nearly 15%. Aurora Cannabis (ACB.TO) spurted 10.25%. Cronos Group (CRON.TO) gained 7.6%, while Bausch Health Companies (BHC.TO) and Aphria (APHA.TO) moved up 4.6% and 4.4%, respectively. Sienna Senior Living (SIA.TO), Chartwell Retirement Residences (CSH.UN.TO) and Knight Therapeutics (GUD.TO) also rose sharply.

Cenovus Energy (CVE.TO), Suncor Energy (SU.TO), Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO), Sun Life Financial (SLF.TO), Magna International (MG.TO) and Kinaxis Inc. (KXS.TO) ended weak.

West Fraser Timber (WFT.TO) gained 3.4%. BRP Inc. (DOO.TO) also ended sharply higher.

U.S. stocks ended weak as traders lightened commitments as they kept an eye on developments in Washington after Republicans unveiled their version of a new coronavirus relief bill.

The Dow slid 0.8%, the Nasdaq tumbled 1.3% and the S&P 500 fell 0.7%.

Stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region and Europe ended mixed.

In commodities, West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for September ended down $0.56 or about 1.4% at $41.04 a barrel.

Gold futures for August ended higher by $13.60 or about 0.7% at $1,944.60 an ounce, after hitting a new intra-day high of $1,974.70.

Silver futures for September ended down $0.201 or 0.8% at $24.300 an ounce, well off the session's of $26.275 an ounce. That was also the futures' highest level since April 2013.

Copper futures for September settled at $2.9175 per pound, gaining $0.0200.

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