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TSX Ends Weak As Materials Stocks Tumble

After swinging between gains and losses till an hour past noon, the Canadian stock market kept sliding as the session progressed on Tuesday to end notably lower, due largely to a sell-off in the materials space after gold and silver futures posted heavy losses.

Financial, consumer discretionary and telecom stocks found support. Healthcare stocks declined sharply. Information technology stocks were weak, and energy stocks failed to hold early gains and drifted lower.

The benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index ended down 108.49 points or 0.65% at 16,497.01, a few points off the day's low of 16,486.02. The index touched a high of 16,640.44 in late morning trades.

The Capped Materials index plunged nearly 6% as several stocks in the section plummeted after gold and crude oil futures both posted their biggest single-session losses in percentage terms since March 2013. In dollar terms, gold futures suffered their biggest single session loss in nearly 7 years.

First Majestic Silver (FR.TO) and Pan American Silver Corp (PAAS.TO) fell 12% and 11.7%, respectively. Silvercorp Metals (SVM.TO), Yamana Gold (YRI.TO), Novagold Resources (NG.TO), Ssr Mining (SSRM.TO), Iamgold (IMG.TO),Kinross Gold (K.TO), Silvercrest Metals (SIL.TO) and Eldorado Gold (ELD.TO) lost 8 to 10%.

The Capped Healthcare Index shed 2.62%, led by losses in Canopy Growth Corp (WEED.TO), Cronos Group (CRON.TO) and Aphria Inc. (APHA.TO), which lost 5.7%, 4.8% and 3.6%, respectively. Aurinia Pharma (AUP.TO) and Aurora Cannabis (ACB.TO) also ended sharply lower.

In the energy space, MEG Energy (MEG.TO), Arc Resources (ARX.TO), Parex Resources (PXT.TO) and Crescent Point Energy (CPG.TO) were among the major losers.

Financial shares Great-West Lifeco (GWO.TO), Manulife Financial (MFC.TO), Laurentian Bank (LB.TO), Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO) and Fairfax Financial Holdings (FFH.TO) gained 1.5 to 3%.

Consumer discretionary stock Martinrea International (MRE.TO) spurted 4% on stronger-than-expected results. Great Canadian Gaming Corp (GC.TO), Magna International (MG.TO) and Linamar Corp (LNR.TO) gained 3.7%, 3.2% and 2.6%, respectively.

Telecom stocks Corus Entertainment (CJR.B.TO) and Cineplex (CGX.TO) moved up 2.8% and 2.3%, respectively.

In economic news, data released by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation showed housing starts in Canada surged by a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 15.8% from a month earlier to 245,604 units in July of 2020, beating market expectations.

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