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TSX Recovers After Sharp Early Setback, Ends Roughly Flat

After a weak start and a subsequent spell in the red that lasted well over an hour past noon, the Canadian market slowly emerged into positive territory around mid afternoon, but failed to hold gains and finally ended with a marginal loss on Monday.

Rising concerns about a surge in Covid-19 cases in China, and worries about geopolitical tensions weighed on stocks.

China reported three persons died after contracting Covid, marking first Covid-related deaths the country's mainland reported since May.

The surge in new cases has resulted in China imposing stringent restrictions in several cities, including Beijing and Shanghai.

The mood was down also due to concerns that future attacks by Russia on Ukraine's nuclear power supply could be catastrophic

The benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index ended with a loss of 3.78 points or 0.02% at 19,977.13. The index dropped to a low of 19,787.05.

Healthcare, energy and technology stocks were among the major losers. Consumer staples and consumer discretionary stocks posted strong gains. A few stocks from industrials and real estate sectors also moved higher.

Bausch Health Companies Inc (BHC.TO) plunged 7.7%. Tilray Inc (TLRY.TO) ended 2.5% down, and Canopy Growth Corp (WEED.TO) closed lower by 1.8%.

Technology stocks Converge Technology Solutions (CTS.TO) and Hut 8 Mining Corp (HUT.TO) dropped 7.6% and 7.4%, respectively. Sylogist (SYZ.TO), Shopify Inc (SHOP.TO), Quarterhill (QTRH.TO), Nuvei Corp (NVE.TO), Alithya Group (ALYA.TO) and Shopify Inc (SHOP.TO) lost 2 to 4%.

Energy stocks Enerplus Corp (ERF.TO), MEG Energy Corp (MEG.TO), Athabasca Oil Corp (ATH.TO), Arc Resources (ARX.TO), Crescent Point Energy (CPG.TO), Whitecap Resources (WCP.TO), Cenovus Energy (CVE.TO) and Precision Drilling Corp (PD.TO) lost 2 to 3.1%.

Consumer discretionary shares Restaurant Brands International (QSR.TO) and Dollarama Inc (DOL.TO) gained 2.6% and 2.15%, respectively.

In the consumer staples section, Primo Water Corp (PRMW.TO) climbed more than 3%, Loblaw Company (L.TO) gained 2.2%, Empire Company (EMP.A.TO) advanced 1.35%, and Weston George (WN.TO) gained 1.2%.

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