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TSX Ends Slightly Weak

The Canadian benchmark ended slightly weak after a lackluster session on Thursday, with losses in healthcare section weighing down the market.

A lack of positive news and lingering worries over rising delta variant of the coronavirus in several parts across the world rendered the mood cautious.

The benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index ended down by 12.53 points or 0.06% at 20,097.52 after moving in a narrow range between 20,040.17 and 20,117.33.

The Capped Healthcare Index slid 2.91% with all the components of the index closing weak. Trillium Therapeutics (TRIL.TO) declined nearly 6% and Tilray Inc (TLRY.TO) ended almost 5% down. Organigram Holdings (OGI.TO) and Aurora Cannabis (ACB.TO) shed 4.5% and 4.4%, respectively, while Cronos Group (CRON.TO), Canopy Growth Corp (WEED.TO) and Aurinia Pharmaceuticals (AUP.TO) lost 2.7 to 3.2%.

Among energy stocks, MEG Energy Corp (MEG.TO) climbed 2.15%. Vermilion Energy (VET.TO) and Parex Resources (PXT.TO) both ended lower by about 1%.

In the materials section, Turquoise Hill Resources (TRQ.TO) gained 2.8%, First Quantum Minerals (FM.TO) and West Fraser Timber (WFG.TO) gained 1.8% and 1.5%, respectively, while Winpak (WPK.TO), Stelco Holdings (STLC.TO) and Ivanhoe Mines (IVN.TO) moved up 1 to 1.25%.

Information technology stocks Shopify Inc (SHOP.TO), Tecsys (TCS.TO) and Lightspeed Pos (LSPD.TO) gained 1.6%, 1.3% and 1.1%, respectively. Evertz Technologies (ET.TO) and Nuvei Corporation (NVEI.TO) gained about 1.75% and 1.6%, respectively.

Among financials, Manulife Financial (MFC.TO), Laurentian Bank (LB.TO), Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS.TO), CDN Western Bank (CWB.TO) and Fairfax Financial Holdings (FFH.TO) ended lower by 0.7 to 1.1%.

Mullen Group (MTL.TO), up nearly 5.5%, was the top gainer in the industrials section. The company sid it generated consolidated revenue of $312.5 million in the second quarter, an increase of $55.0 million, or 21.4%, as compared to $257.5 million in 2020 due to a combination of incremental revenue generated from acquisitions and internal growth.

CAE Inc. (CAE.TO) gained 5.3%, Boyd Group Services (BYD.TO) climbed nearly 3% and Cargojet Inc (CJT.TO) rallied 2.9%.

In commodities, West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures for September ended up by $1.61 or about 2.3% at $71.91 a barrel, gaining for a third straight day after tumbling by over 7% on Monday.

Gold futures for August ended up by $2.00 or about 0.1% at $1,895.40 an ounce, a day after dropping to their lowest close in about two weeks.

Silver futures for September ended higher by $0.13 or about 0.5% at $25.38 an ounce, while Copper futures for September settled around $4.34 per pound, gaining about 1.5%.

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