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TSX Ends On Firm Note Despite Weak Retail Sales Data

The Canadian stock market ended on a firm note on Friday, rebounding after two successive days of losses, thanks to some strong buying in healthcare and consumer discretionary shares.

Several stocks from industrial, information technology and financial sectors too posted notable gains. Telecom and consumer staples stocks drifted lower, while energy and materials shares ended mixed.

Weak retail sales data and the slow pace of vaccine rollouts limited market's upside.

The benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index ended with a gain of 110.20 points or 0.6% at 18,384.27, slightly off the day's high of 18,393.10. The index shed about 0.4% in the week.

The Capped Consumer Discretionary Index climbed 3.11%. Magna International (MG.TO) spurted nearly 10%.

Linamar Corp (LNR.TO) gained about 4%. Aritzia Inc. (ATZ.TO) and Gildan Activewear (GIL.TO) both ended higher by about 2.3%, while Canadian Tire Corporation (CTC.A.TO) advanced 1.85%. Martinrea International (MRE.TO) and Sleep Country Canada Holdings (ZZZ.TO) gained 1.25% each.

The Capped Healthcare Index moved up 3.06%. Canopy Growth Corp (WEED.TO), Aphria Inc. (APHA.TO) and Trillium Therapeutics (TRIL.TO) gained 5.2 to 5.4%, while Cronos Group (CRON.TO) and Chartwell Retirement Residences (CSH.UN.TO) ended higher by 4.2% and 1.4%, respectively.

Ballard Power Systems (BLDP.TO), up 6.4%, was the top gainer in the industrial section. Gfi International (GFL.TO) gained 5.4%, while Finning International (FTT.TO), Cae Inc (CAE.TO) and Air Canada (AC.TO) moved up 3 to 4%.

Technology stocks Lightspeed Pos (LSPD.TO), Celestica Inc. (CLS.TO), Kinaxis Inc. (KXS.TO) and Shopify Inc. (SHOP.TO) gained 3 to 5, while Docebo Inc. (DCBO.TO) advanced nearly 2%.

Financial shares Sun Life Financial (SLF.TO), CDN Western Bank (CWB.TO), Bank of Montreal (BMO.TO), National Bank of Canada (NA.TO) and Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO) gained 1 to 2%.

Data from Statistics Canada showed retail sales in the country decreased 3.4% in December over the previous month. In November, retail sales had surged 1.3%. Sales were expected to drop by 2.5% in December.

Retail sales ex-autos, fell 4.1% month-on-month in December, the data showed.

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