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Canadian Stocks Close Mostly Lower Following Afternoon Weakness

Canadian stocks showed a lack of direction for much of the session on Thursday before coming under pressure in afternoon trading.

The benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index climbed off its worst levels going into the close but still ended the day down 45.22 points or 0.3 percent at 16,530.06.

Notable weakness among energy stocks contributed to the lower close on Bay Street, with the S&P/TSX Capped Energy Index slumping by 1.6 percent.

Energy stocks moved lower along with the price of crude oil, with crude for September delivery falling $0.43 to $42.24 a barrel after the International Energy Agency lowered its 2020 oil demand forecast.

Commercial real estate, telecommunications, financial and utilities stocks also moved to the downside over the course of the session.

Meanwhile, substantial strength remained visible among materials stocks, as reflected by the 2.5 percent jump by the S&P/TSX Capped Materials Index.

The rally by materials stocks came as the price of gold moved sharply higher as the day progressed, with gold for December delivery jumping $21.40 to $1,970.40 an ounce after hitting a low of $1,923 an ounce.

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