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Canadian Market Down Marginally; BoC Holds Rates As Expected

After opening slightly lower and drifting down further subsequently, the Canadian market pared some losses Wednesday morning.

Telecom, consumer staples and financial shares are weak. Healthcare stocks are up sharply, while materials, industrials, utilities, energy, technology and consumer discretionary shares are turning in a mixed performance.

Investors, who are digesting the central bank's rate decision and its views on the economy, is looking ahead to U.S. inflation data for directional cues.

The Bank of Canada left its key overnight rate unchanged at 0.25%, as expected. The central bank has also kept its quantitative easing program at a target pace of $3 billion per week, following a C$1 billion reduction in the previous meeting.

The central bank said there is considerable excess capacity in the Canadian economy, and that the recovery continues to require extraordinary monetary policy support. The bank added that it remains committed to holding the policy interest rate at the effective lower bound until economic slack is absorbed so that the 2% inflation target is sustainably achieved.

The central bank had said in April that a change in its stance is unlikely to happen atleast till the second half of 2022.

The benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index, which slid to 19,960.94, is down 25.70 or 0.13% at 20,040.22 about an hour past noon.

The Capped Healthcare Index is up 4.3%. Tilray Inc (TLRY.TO) is soaring nearly 11%. On Monday, Tilray announced the launch of Symbios, a complement to the company's existing medical brand portfolio in Canada.

Organigram Holdings (OGI.TO), Aurinia Pharmaceuticals (AUP.TO), Canopy Growth Corp (WEED.TO), Aurora Cannabis (ACB.TO), Trillium Therapeutics (TRIL.TO) and Cronos Group (CRON.TO) are gaining 2.7 to 4.5%.

Transcontinental Inc. (TCL.B.TO) shares are up 5.3% after the company announced that it earned a net income of $35.6 million in the second quarter, up 39% from a net profit of $25.7 million it posted in the year-ago quarter.

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