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TSX Ends Weak For 2nd Straight Day

The Canadian stock market ended weak for a second straight day, as shares from healthcare, energy and materials sections drifted lower on Thursday amid continued uncertainty about near term outlook.

Financial shares found some support, while utilities, consumer staples and telecom shares turned in a mixed performance. Technology stocks managed to edge off lower levels.

The benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index, which fell to a low of 18,207.20 early on in the session, ended with a loss of 100.71 points or 0.55% at 18,274.07.

On Wednesday, the index shed 117.94 points or 0.64%, despite regaining a substantial portion of ground it lost in early trades.

The Capped Healthcare Index shed more than 5.5%. Canopy Growth Corporation (WEED.TO) plunged more than 10%, Aurora Cannabis (ACB.TO) ended 8% down, Aphria Inc. (APHA.TO) shed 6.7% and Cronos Group (CRON.TO) ended lower by 6.1%. Trillium Therapeutics (TRIL.TO) and Bausch Health Companies (BHC.TO) lost 3.7% and 1.6%, respectively.

Energy stocks Vermilion Energy (VET.TO) and Parex Resources (PXT.TO) lost 4.5% and 4.4%, respectively. MEG Energy (MEG.TO) and Enerplus Corp (ERF.TO) both ended lower by about 3%. Cenovus Energy (CVE.TO), Arc Resources (ARX.TO), Imperial Oil (IMO.TO), PrairieSky Royalty (PSK.TO) and Suncor Energy (SU.TO) lost 1.6 to 2.2%.

In the materials section, New Gold (NGD.TO), Oceanagold Corp (OGC.TO), Canfor Corp (CFP.TO), Iamgold Corp (IMG.TO) and Silvercrest Metals (SIL.TO) lost 4 to 6%. Barrick Gold Corp (ABX.TO), Torex Gold Resources (TXG.TO), Eldorado Gold (ELD.TO) and Methanex Corp (MX.TO) also declined sharply.

On the economic front, data released by Automatic Data Processing Inc showed private businesses in Canada shed 231,200 jobs in January, after a revised 338,200 rise in December. Market had expected a job loss of about 14,100.

Data released by Statistics Canada showed prices of new homes in Canada rose by 0.7% from the previous month in January of 2021, following a 0.3% increase in December. Year-on-year, new house prices advanced 5.4%.

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