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TSX Snaps 3-day Winning Streak, Ends Modestly Lower

The Canadian stock market ended weak on Friday, snapping a three-day winning run, after staying in the red right through the session.

Worries about spikes in coronavirus cases, growing U.S.-China tensions and uncertainty about a new U.S. relief package outweighed fairly buoyant jobs data and rendered the mood cautious.

Weak crude oil and gold prices too weighed on the market.

The benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index ended with a loss of 34.62 points or 0.21% at 16,544.48, after scaling a low of 16,492.06 and a high of 16,567.27. Recording gains on three of the fours sessions in the shortened week, the TSX added 2.31% in the week.

Healthcare, information technology and materials shares declined sharply. Energy, industrials and financial stocks found support. A few stocks from utilities section also moved up. Consumer, utilities, telecom and real estate stocks turned in a mixed performance.

First Quantum Minerals (FM.TO) plunged nearly 8% and Iamgold Corporation (IMG.TO) slid about 5%. B2Gold Corp (BTO.TO), Kinross Gold Corp (K.TO), Yamana Gold (YRI.TO) and Barrick Gold Corporation (ABX.TO) lost 1.8 to 3.4%.

Aphria Inc. (APHA.TO), Air Canada (AC.TO), Bombardier Inc. (BBD.B.TO) and Suncor Energy (SU.TO) declined 1 to 3%.

Among the gainers, Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO) moved up by about 3.75%. Sun Life Financial (SLF.TO) gained 1.9%. Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS.TO), Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS.TO), Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CM.TO), Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO) and Canadian National Railway (CNR.TO) gained 1 to 1.3%.

In economic news, data released by Statistics Canada this morning showed the Canadian economy created 418,500 jobs in July of 2020, easing from a record 952,900 in the previous month. However, the numbers came in above market expectations.

Full Time Employment in Canada increased by 73,200 in July of 2020, while part time employment decreased to 345,300 in July from 464,800 in June of 2020.

The unemployment rate in Canada dropped to 10.9% in July 2020, easing further from April's record high of 13.7%.

Meanwhile, the Ivey PMI for Canada rose to 68.5 in July 2020 from 58.2 in the previous month. The index had touched an all-time low of 22.8 in April. July reading is the highest for the index since April 2018.

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