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TSX Ends Modestly Higher Again

Canadian shares turned in a mixed performance in cautious trade on Friday amid a lack of concrete news about U.S. fiscal stimulus talks, weak crude oil prices and persisting worries about global growth due to surging coronavirus cases.

The benchmark S&P/TSX Composite managed to closed with a modest gain, thanks largely to some strong buying in select financial, information technology and industrial shares.

The index ended with a gain of 24.72 points or 0.15% at 16,304.08 after scaling a low of 16,228.60 and a high of 16,334.83 in the session. It shed about 0.8% in the week.

Energy, consumer staples, materials and telecom stocks closed mixed, while consumer discretionary stocks were mostly weak.

Onex Corp (ONEX.TO), up 5.3%, was the top gainer in the Financial Index. CDN Western Bank (CWB.TO), Manulife Financial (MFC.TO), Bank of Montreal (BMO.TO) and Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS.TO) gained 1.4 to 2%, while Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CM.TO) and National Bank of Canada (NA.TO) both ended higher by about 1%.

Information technology shares Shopify Inc (SHOP.TO) and Kinaxis Inc (KXS.TO) moved up 2% and 1.6%, respectively. Photon Control (PHO.TO) and Evertz Technologies (ET.TO) both ended higher by 1.2%.

Tfi International (TFII.TO), Cae Inc. (CAE.TO), Westshore Terminals Investment Corp (WTE.TO), New Flyer Industries (NFI.TO) and Badger Daylight (BAD.TO) were among the top gainers in the industrial section. These stocks gained between 2.4 and 4%.

Among energy stocks, Suncor Energy (SU.TO), Vermilion Energy (VET.TO) and Imperial Oil (IMO.TO) gained 2.3 to 2.6%, while Parex Resources (PXT.TO), MEG Energy (MEG.TO), Enerplus Corp (ERF.TO), PrairieSky Royalty (PSK.TO), Crescent Point Energy (CPG.TO), Whitecap Resources (WCP.TO), Arc Resources (ARX.TO) and Cenovus Energy (CVE.TO) lost 1.4 to 4%.

Among materials shares, First Quantum Minerals (FM.TO) and Methanex (MX.TO) gained 1.75% and 1.4%, respectively.

In the healthcare space, Cronos Group (CRON.TO) ended nearly 4% down and Aurora Cannabis (ACB.TO) slid 3.6%, while Trillium Therapeutics (TRIL.TO), Aphria Inc. (APHA.TO) and Canopy Growth Corp (WEED.TO) lost 2.5 to 2.75%. Bausch Health Companies (BHC.TO) and Sienna Senior Living (SIA.TO) moved up sharply.

U.S. stocks ended mixed after a choppy session amid a lack of concrete news out of Washington regarding a new coronavirus stimulus bill. The Dow edged down 0.1%, the Nasdaq climbed 0.4% and the S&P 500 advanced 0.3%.

The major averages all moved lower for the week. The Nasdaq slumped by 1.1%, the Dow slid by 0.9% and the S&P 500 fell by 0.5%.

The major European markets ended higher, while markets across the Asia-Pacific region turned in a mixed performance.

In commodities, West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for December ended down by $0.79 or about 1.9% at $39.85 a barrel.

Gold futures for December ended at $1,905.20 an ounce, up $0.60 from the previous close. The contract touched a high of $1,917.30 an ounce and a low of $1,895.20 an ounce during the session.

Silver futures for December ended higher by $0.034 at $24.675 an ounce, while Copper futures for December settled at $3.1290 per pound, losing $0.0245.

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