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TSX Ends Notably Higher; Gains Over 2% In Week

The Canadian stock market ended notably higher on Friday, led by gains in information technology and materials shares.

The mood was cautious early on in the session amid rising coronavirus cases across the world and on uncertainty about a fiscal stimulus in the U.S. However, rising optimism about potential Covid-19 vaccines helped lift sentiment.

Higher gold and crude oil prices helped list stocks from materials and energy sectors, contributing significantly to market's positive close.

The benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index ended with a gain of 109.29 points or 0.65% at 17,019.10, after scaling a low of 16,891.59 and a high of 17,048.87. The index gained a little over 2% this week.

The Capped Information Technology Index surged up nearly 3%. BlackBerry (BB.TO) climbed 7.7%, Docebo Inc. (DCBO.TO), Lightspeed Pos (LSPD.TO) and Kinaxis Inc. (KXS.TO) gained 6.6 to 6.8% and Descartes Systems Group (DSG.TO) advanced 4.3%, while Absolute Software Corporation (ABST.TO) and Constellation Software (CSU.TO) gained 3.5% and 3.2%, respectively.

Shopify Inc. (SHOP.TO), CGI Group (GIB.A.TO), Enghouse Systems (ENGH.TO) and Open Text Corporation (OTEX.TO) also ended sharply higher.

In the materials section, First Quantum Minerals (FM.TO) gained 4.5%, and Intertape Player (ITP.TO), Hudbay Minerals (HBM.TO) and New Gold (NG.TO) moved up by a little over 3%. Several other stocks, including MAG Silver (MAG.TO), Seabridge Gold (SEA.TO), Kirkland Lake Gold (KL.TO), Franco-Nevada Corp (FNV.TO) and Torex Gold Resources (TXG.TO) also ended with strong gains.

Energy stocks Husky Energy (HSE.TO), Whitecap Resources (WCP.TO), Cenovus Energy (CVE.TO), Crescent Point Energy (CPG.TO) and Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO) gained 1.75 to 2.5%.

Aurinia Pharmaceuticals (AUP.TO), up nearly 8%, was the top mover in the healthcare section. Trillium Therapeutics (TRIL.TO) and Aurora Cannabis (ACB.TO) gained 1.7% and 1.1%, respectively.

Northland Power (NPI.TO) and Boralex (BLX.TO) were the top gainers in the Utilities Index.

Among financials, Fairfax Financial Holdings (FFH.TO) gained 2.35%, CDN Western Bank (CWB.TO) advanced 1.45%, Bank of Montreal (BMO.TO) climbed 1.2% and Sun Life Financial (SLF.TO) ended higher by about 1.1%.

Among the notable losers, Real Matters (REAL.TO) tumbled nearly 16%. Air Canada (AC.TO) ended lower by about 3.1% and Manulife Financial Corp (MFC.TO) slid 1.1%.

Canadian Pacific Railway (CP.TO), Magna International (MG.TO), Canada Goose Holdings (GOOS.TO), West Fraser Timber (WFT.TO) and Norbord (OSB.TO) were among the other notable losers.

On the economic front, data from Statistics Canada showed retails sales in the country rose 1.1% in September following an upwardly revised 0.5% increase in August. It was the fifth successive monthly rise in retail trade.

The data also said retail sales increased 4.6% in September 2020 over the same month in the previous year.

Another data from Statistics Canada showed prices of new homes in Canada rose by 0.8% from the previous month in October, following a 1.2% increase in September, which was the largest increase in home prices in fourteen years.

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