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TSX Ends Lower Again

Despite recovering from a weak start, the Canadian stock market stayed in negative territory for much of the trading session on Thursday as investors largely stayed reluctant to go long on shares amid a mixed batch of earnings reports and economic data from across the globe.

Weakness in energy, materials and consumer discretionary sections kept the market down in negative territory. Consumer staples saw some support, while financial, information technology, healthcare and industrials stocks ended mixed.

The benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index ended down 10.42 points, or 0.06%, at 16,576.10, after scaling a low of 16,527.87 and a high of 16,593.19 in the session.

On Wednesday, the benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index ended down 82.88 points, or 0.5%, at 16,586.52.

Bombardier Inc. (BBD.B.TO) shares plunged more than 15% after the company said it now expects full year 2019 revenues to be about $17.0 billion, about $1.0 billion lower than originally anticipated, due to revised expectations at Transportation and Commercial Aircraft.

Encana Corporation (ECA.TO), Crescent Point Energy (CPG.TO), Precision Drilling Corporation (PD.TO), Baytex Energy (BTE.TO) and Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO) lost 1 to 4.2%.

In the materials space, First Quantum Minerals (FM.TO) declined more than 5%, Lundin Mining Corporation (LUN.TO) ended 1.2% down, Kinross Gold Corporation (K.TO) eased 1.8% and B2Gold Corp. (BTO.TO) shed about 1.6%.

Aphria (APHA.TO) declined 2.6%. Aurora Cannabis (ABX.TO) ended modestly lower and Hexo Corp. (HEXO.TO) gained about 0.6%.

Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS.TO) closed 0.4% up and Royal Bank of Canada (RY.To) ended slightly weak.

On the economic front, data released this morning showed average weekly earnings of non-farm payroll employees in Canada rose 1.1% year-on-year in January 2019, after a downwardly revised 1.9% increase in the prior month. Wages were up in 7 of the 10 largest industrial sectors, led by administrative and support services.

On Wall Street, stocks saw considerable volatility during the trading day on Thursday, with investors digesting a mixed batch of economic data and earnings news ahead of the release of closely watched first quarter GDP data on Friday.

The major averages ended the session on opposite sides of the unchanged line.

While the Dow climbed well off its worst levels of the day, the blue chip index still ended the day down 0.5%. On the other hand, the Nasdaq rose 0.2% and the S&P 500 inched up by less than a tenth of a percent.

In U.S. economic news, the Labor Department's report showed initial jobless claims rebounded by more than anticipated in the week ended April 20.

The report said initial jobless claims climbed to 230,000, an increase of 37,000 from the previous week's revised level of 193,000. Economists had expected jobless claims to rise to 200,000.

The bigger than expected increase came after the number of jobless claims in the previous week represented their lowest level since hitting 182,000 in September of 1969.

Meanwhile, the Commerce Department's report showed durable goods orders surged up by 2.7% in March after tumbling by a revised 1.1 percent in February.

Economists had expected durable goods orders to climb by 0.8% compared to the 1.6% slump originally reported for the previous month.

European markets ended weak and markets across the Asia-Pacific region turned in a mixed performance.

In commodities, West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for June ended down $0.68, or about 1%, at $65.21 a barrel.

Gold futures for June ended at $1,289.70, gaining $0.30 for the session.

Silver futures for May ended up $0.037, at $14.879 an ounce, while Copper futures for May settled at $2.8615 a dollar, netting a loss of $0.0485.

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