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TSX Ends On Strong Note

The Canadian stock market ended on a bright note on Wednesday, extending gains from the previous session, thanks to strong buying in energy, healthcare and consumer discretionary shares.

Higher crude oil prices, and easing concerns about the impact of Evergrande's debt after the Chinese central bank's massive cash injection in the country's financial system, rendered the mood bullish.

The market also noted the Federal Reserve's monetary policy announcement.

Canada's benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index, which climbed to 20,479.70, ended with a gain of 157.20 points or 0.78% at 20,401.49.

The Energy Index climbed nearly 4% as several stocks in the sector rallied sharply after crude oil prices surged higher following a drop in crude inventories in the U.S.

Cenovus Energy (CVE.TO), Parex Resources (PXT.TO) and Vermilion Energy (VET.TO) gained 7.4%, 7.1% and 6.4%, respectively. Imperial Oil (IMO.TO), Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO), Suncor Energy (SU.TO), Whitecap Resources (WCP.TO), Enerplus Corp (ERF.TO) and MEG Energy Corp (MEG.TO) also rose sharply.

The Capped Healthcare Index surged up more than 2%. Canopy Growth Corp (WEED.TO) gained 4.5%, while Tilray Inc (TLRY.TO) and Cronos Group (CRON.TO) both gained nearly 3.5%. Organigram Holdings (OGI.TO) advanced nearly 2.5%.

Among consumer discretionary stocks, Martinrea International (MRE.TO) gained more than 4%. Linamar Corp (LNR.TO), Brp Inc (DOO.TO), Spin Master Corp (TOY.TO), Gildan Activewear (GIL.TO), Sleep Country Canada Holdings (ZZZ.TO) and Magna International (MG.TO) gained 2 to 2.5%.

The Fed hinted tapering of its asset purchases could begin in the near future amid continued progress towards it goals of maximum employment and price stability.

The Fed said in the announcement of its latest monetary policy decision that a "moderation in the pace of asset purchases may soon be warranted" if progress towards its dual goals continues broadly as expected.

During his post-meeting press conference, Fed Chair Jerome Powell indicated the central bank could begin tapering its asset purchases as soon as its next meeting in early November.

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