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TSX Ends On Negative Note

The Canadian stock market ended on a weak note on Wednesday, led by losses in energy, materials and consumer sections.

The mood was cautious with a negative bias due to persisting worries about growth amid continued surge in coronavirus cases and stricter lockdown restrictions. Expectations that the U.S. government will announce a big stimulus sometime soon helped limit market's losses.

The benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index ended with a loss of 51.06 points or 0.28% at 17,934.74, after scaling a low of 17,897.17 and a high of 18,009.98 in the session.

Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc (ATD.B.TO) shares plunged more than 10%. The company said Wednesday it made a non-binding offer of 20 euro ($30.97) a share for Europe's biggest retailer, Carrefour SA.

The North West Company (NWC.TO) shed about 2.2% and Weston George (WN.TO) ended lower by about 1.4%.

In the energy section, Vermilion Energy (VET.TO), Cenovus Energy (CVE.TO) and Enerplus (ERF.TO) lost 3.3%, 3.2% and 2.5%, respectively. Imperial Oil (IMO.TO), Suncor Energy (SU.TO), Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO) and MEG Energy (MEG.TO) ended lower by 1.4 to 2%.

Among the stocks in the materials section, Pan American Silver Corp (PAAS.TO) ended nearly 6% down. Methanex Corp (MX.TO), Torex Gold Resources (TXG.TO), MAG Silver (MAG.TO), Osisko Mining (OSK.TO) and First Quantum Minerals (FM.TO) lost 4 to 5%.

Healthcare stocks had a good session. Bausch Health Companies (BHC.TO) soared 10.3%. Cronos Group (CRON.TO) zoomed 9.5% and Aphria Inc. (APHA.TO) rallied nearly 6%. Canopy Growth Corp (WEED.TO), Aurora Cannabis (ACB.TO) and Trillium Therapeutics (TRIL.TO) gained 3 to 4%.

Bombardier Inc. (BBD.B.TO) shares gained about 5.7% after Bombardier Transportation said it has received an order for three additional BOMBARDIER OMNEO Regio 2N trains from French national rail operator SNCF.

Canadian government announced that the Canada-U.S. border will remain closed to non-essential travel until at least February 21. Blair said in a written statement that the latest extension to international travel restrictions has been made to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The travel restrictions prevent entry to most travelers who are not Canadian citizens, permanent residents or people entering from the U.S. for "essential" reasons. The border closure initially took effect in March 2020.

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