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Canadian Shares Turning In Mixed Performance In Cautious Trade

Canadian shares are turning in a mixed performance Thursday morning, with investors largely making cautious moves amid concerns about growth due to rising coronavirus cases across the globe.

Despite rising optimism about coronavirus vaccines following positive updates about their vaccine candidates from Pfizer and Moderna, worries about the pandemic continue to persist due to spikes in new infections in several countries across the world.

Technology stocks are finding support, while shares from energy and materials sections are weak. Industrial, healthcare, financial and consumer discretionary stocks are a bit sluggish.

The benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index is down 17.72 points or 0.1% at 16,872.10. The index touched a low of 16,813.64 in opening trades and advanced to a high of 16,910.72 subsequently.

Docebo Inc. (DCBO.TO) is rising 3.2% and Shopify Inc. (SHOP.TO) is up 3.1%. Kinaxis Inc. (KXS.TO) and Enghouse Systems (ENGH.TO) are up 1.6% and 1.5%, respectively, while Lightspeed Inc. (LSPD.TO) is advancing 1.2%.

In the healthcare section, Trillium Therapeutics (TRIL.TO) is surging up 3.3%, Bausch Health Companies (BHC.TO) is up 1.2% and Canopy Growth Corp (WEED.TO) is gaining 1%.

Among financials, Bank of Montreal (BMO.TO) is gaining nearly 0.7%, while Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO), Sun Life Financial (SLF.TO), National Bank of Canada (NA.TO) and Laurentian Bank (LB.TO) are modestly lower. Manulife Financial (MFC.TO) and Fairfax Financial Holdings (FFH.TO) are both lower by about 1%.

Among the stocks in the energy section, Vermilion Energy (VET.TO) is surging up 3.2%, while Enerplus (ERF.TO) and Whitecap Resources (WCP.TO) are up 2.6% and 2.5%, respectively. Tourmaline Oil Corp (TOU.TO) and Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO) are notably lower.

Materials shares Eldorado Gold (ELD.TO), Agnico Eagle Mines (AEM.TO), Barrick Gold (ABX.TO) and Wheaton Precious Metals (WPM.TO) are down with notable losses, while Interfor Corp (IFP.TO), Canfor Corp (CFP.TO) and Hudbay Minerals (HBM.TO) are sharply higher.

Shares of Norbord Inc. (OSB.TO) are soaring over 11% this morning following West Fraser Timber Co. Ltd. (WFT.TO) signing a deal to acquire the company in an all-stock transaction valued at $4.0 billion.

The deal will see Norbord shareholders receive 0.675 of a West Fraser share for each Norbord share they hold. Shares of West Fraser Timber are down by about 2.5%.

According to ADP data, private businesses in Canada shed 79500 workers in October 2020, after cutting an upwardly revised 564400 thousand jobs in the previous month, amid the coronavirus crisis.

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