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Canadian Shares Languishing In Negative Territory After Weak Start

The Canadian stock market is notably lower a little past noon on Thursday due to sustained selling in energy and material shares.

Reports about rising coronavirus cases and uncertainty about economic recovery amid fears of fresh lockdown measures are weighing on sentiment.

Data showing a sharp contraction in U.S. GDP and an increase in unemployment claims are hurting as well.

The benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index, which plummeted to 16,020.55, losing nearly 175 points, is down 134.43 points or 0.82% at 16,160.23 about a quarter past noon.

The Capped Energy Index is down nearly 3% with some disappointing results, in addition to weak crude oil prices, taking a toll of stocks in this section.

Crescent Point Energy (CPG.TO) is down more than 7%. The company reported adjusted net loss of C$27.9 million for the quarter ended June 2020, compared with net income of C$146 million in the corresponding quarter last year.

Whitecap Resources Inc. (WCP.TO) shares are down 4.4% after the company reported a net loss of $78.2 million for the quarter ended June 2020, as against net profit of $58.3 million a year ago.

Seven Generations Energy (VII.TO), Husky Energy (HSE.TO), Cenovus Energy (CVG.TO), Parex Resources (PXT.TO), Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO), Vermilion Energy (VET.TO), MEG Energy (MEG.TO) and Imperial Oil (IMO.TO) are down 3 to 4.5%.

The Capped Materials Index is down 2.3%. Methanex Corp (MX.TO) is plunging 8.7%. Oceanagold (OGC.TO) and Alamos Gold (AGI.TO) are down more than 7%. Hudbay Minerals (HBM.TO), Lundin Mining (LUN.TO), Pan American Silver (PAAS.TO), Lundin Gold (LUG.TO), Ssr Mining (SSRM.TO), Yamana Gold (YRI.TO), Teck Resources (TECK.B.TO), First Quantum Minerals (FM.TO) and Wheaton Precious Metals (WPM.TO) are down 3 to 5.4%.

Among the stocks in the financial sector, Manulife Financial (MFC.TO), CDN Western Bank (CWB.TO), Laurentian Bank (LB.TO), Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO), Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CM.TO), Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS.TO) and Bank of Montreal (BMO.TO) are lower by 1 to 2%.

Accord Financial Corp. (ACD.TO) reported adjusted net earnings of $0.55 per share for the quarter ended June 2020, compared with net earnings of $0.28 per share in the year-ago quarter. The stock is down marginally.

ATCO Ltd. (ACO.X.TO) announced second quarter 2020 adjusted earnings of $70 million, or $0.61 per share, compared to $78 million, or $0.68 per share, in the second quarter of 2019. The stock is down 0.8%.

Maple Leaf Foods Inc. (MFI.TO) shares are up more than 5% on strong results. The company announced it posted net earnings of $25.7 million in the second quarter, compared to net loss of $6.3 million last year.

In economic news, average weekly earnings of non-farm payroll employees in Canada grew 10.4% year-on-year to C$ 1,139 in May 2020.

In commodities, West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for September delivery are down as much as $1.43 or 3.46% at $39.84 a barrel.

Gold futures are down $14.70 or 0.71% at $1,938.70 an ounce, while Silver futures are declining $1.056 or 4.3% at $23.265 an ounce.

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