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Gold Stocks Rally, Lift TSX To New Closing High

The Canadian stock market ended higher on Thursday, rebounding from previous session's weakness, thanks to some upbeat economic data from the U.S. and Canada and easing worries about trade.

The benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index hit a new all-time high, rising to 16,913.49. The index eventually ended at 16,858.35, gaining 58.06 points, or 0.35%.

Materials shares rallied and contributed significantly to market's gains. A few stocks from consumer staples, financial and information technology sections ended on a firm note.

Healthcare shares declined sharply. Energy shares had a choppy ride, as crude oil prices retreated after early gains.

In the materials space, First Quantum Minerals (FM.TO) soared 10.3%. Oceanagold (OGC.TO), Iamgold Corp (IMG.TO), Barrick Gold Corp (ABX.TO), B2Gold Corp (BTO.TO) and Detour Gold Corp (DGC.TO) gained 3.5 to 5.2%.

Hudbay Minerals (HBM.TO), Kirkland Lake Gold (KL.TO), Eldorado Gold (ELD.TO), Yamana Gold (YRI.TO) and Alamos Gold (AGI.TO) also rose sharply.

In the energy space, Encana Corp (ECA.TO), ARC Resources (ARX.TO), Tourmaline Oil Corp (TOU.TO) and Imperial Oil (IMO.TO) lost 1 to 3%, while Nuvista Energy (NVA.TO), Baytex Energy (BTE.TO), MEG Energy (MEG.TO) and Crescent Point Energy (CPG.TO) closed with sharp to moderate gains.

Among healthcare shares, Canopy Growth Corporation (WEED.TO) plunged 8.7%, Cronos Group (CRON.TO) declined 6.5%, Aphria Inc. (APHA.TO) and Hexo Corp (HEXO.TO) shed 3.8% and 3.7%, respectively, while Aurora Cannabis (ACB.TO) ended 2.7% down. CannTrust Holdings (TRST.TO) ended 5.2% up, recovering from recent sharp losses.

In the financial space, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CM.TO), Manulife Financial (MFC.TO), Sun Life Financial (SLF.TO) and Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO) closed higher.

On the economic front, private businesses in Canada hired 49.30 thousand workers in August of 2019, against market expectations of a 30.6 thousand cut, data from ADP showed.

U.S. stocks failed to hold early gains and ended mixed after a somewhat lackluster session.

The Dow dipped 0.2%, the Nasdaq inched up 0.1% and the S&P 500 crept up less than a tenth of a percent.

Markets across the Asia-Pacific region and Europe ended mostly higher.

In commodities, West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures for October ended up by 2 cents at $58.13 a barrel.

Gold futures for December ended down $9.60, or about 0.6%, at $1,506.20 an ounce.

Silver futures for December ended down $0.035, at $17.884 an ounce, while Copper futures for December settled at $2.6085 per pound, down $0.0045 from previous close.

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