TSX Ends Modestly Higher

The Canadian market ended modestly higher on Wednesday after moving in a tight range amid thin volumes.

After struggling for direction till about a couple of hours past noon, the market saw some buying as investors reacted positively to the minutes of the Federal Reserve's latest monetary policy meeting.

Technology stocks moved higher, contributing significantly to the Canadian market's positive close. A few stocks from utilities, materials and financials sectors posted strong gains, while energy stocks drifted lower on weak crude oil prices.

The benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index ended with a gain of 62.25 points or 0.31% at 20,282.26, after scaling a low of 20,185.08 and a high of 20,303.63 intraday.

Shopify Inc (SHOP.TO) and ATS Corporation (ATA.TO) both ended higher by about 4% on huge volumes.

Cargojet (CJT.TO), BRP Inc (DOO.TO), Premium Brands Holdings Corporation (PBH.TO), Constellation Software (CSU.TO) and Kinaxis (KXS.TO) gained 1.2 to 2.5%.

Converge Technology Solutions (CTS.TO) soared 22.5%. Haivision Systems (HAI.TO) climbed 9% and Sylogist Ltd. (SYZ.TO) surged 9.8%.

Maxar Technologies (MAXR.TO) plunged more than 11%. West Fraser Timber (WFG.TO) ended 3.7% down, while Alimentation Couche-Tard (ATD.TO), Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers (RBA.TO), Restaurant Brands International (QSR.TO), Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO) and Precision Drilling Corporation (PD.TO) lost 1 to 2.2%.

The Fed minutes provided further evidence the central bank is considering slowing the pace of its interest rate hikes.

The minutes said a "substantial majority" of meeting participants judged that a slowing in the pace of rate hikes would likely "soon be appropriate."

A slower pace of rate hikes would better allow the Fed to assess progress toward its goals of maximum employment and price stability, the minutes said.

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