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TSX Ends Notably Lower; Technology, Materials Decline Sharply

The Canadian stock market ended on a weak note on Wednesday, weighed down by losses in materials, healthcare and technology sections.

Energy stocks rebounded from early weakness and quite a few stocks from the section ended the session with strong gains. Financial, consumer discretionary, utilities and real estate stocks closed mixed, while consumer and telecom stocks were weak.

The benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index, down nearly 240 points at 18,254.30 a little before noon, recovered some lost ground, but still the day with a loss of 117.94 points or 0.64% at 18,374.78.

The Capped Healthcare Index slid 2.3%. Aurora Cannabis (ACB.TO), Cronos Group (CRON.TO) and Aphria Inc. (APHA.TO) lost 7.1%, 5.4% and 5.3%, respectively. Canopy Growth Corporation (WEED.TO) ended 3.3% down and Trillium Therapeutics (TRIL.TO) slid 2.05%.

Materials shares tumbled as gold prices fell sharply. Ssr Mining (SSRM.TO) lost nearly 7% and New Gold (NGD.TO) ended lower by about 5%. Torex Gold Resources (TXG.TO), Barrick Gold Corporation (ABX.TO), Franco-Nevada Corporation (FNV.TO), Agnico Eagle Mines (AEM.TO) and Kinross Gold (K.TO) declined by 3 to 4%.

Among technology stocks, Shopify Inc. (SHOP.TO) ended 2.8% down. Shopify Inc. (SHOP.TO) is down more than 4% after reporting net profit of US$123.9 million for the fourth quarter, up from US$771,000 a year earlier, as its revenue nearly doubled. The company said the net profit amounted to 99 cents per diluted share for the quarter ended December 31, up from a penny per diluted share a year earlier.

BlackBerry (BB.TO) lost more than 7%, Docebo Inc. (DCBO.TO) ended 4.4% down, Celestica Inc. (CLS.TO), Sierra Wireless (SW.TO) and Enghouse Systems (ENGH.TO) ended lower by 3 to 3.2%, while Kinaxis Inc. (KXS.TO) declined 2.6% and Descartes Systems (DSG.TO) lost nearly 2%.

data from Statistics Canada showed Canada's annual inflation rate rose to 1% in January 2021, after coming in at 0.7% in December 2020. Economists had forecast inflation rate to come in at 0.9%.

Core consumer prices in Canada increased 1.6% in January over the same month in the previous year.

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