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AFTER THE BELL: TSX clings to gains despite falling marijuana stocks, U.S. markets sputter in wake of Trump’s address

Canada’s stock exchange tip-toed near the flat line, dragged by declines in six of 11 sectors.

The TSX added eight points, with gains among influential energy and bank stocks helping to keep the index afloat.

The exchange’s health care sector was off by 3.4 percent, with Ontario-based cannabis producer Aphria rejecting a hostile takeover bid by Ohio’s Green Growth Brands, stating that the offer undervalues the company.

Aphria added that the bid would have negative repercussions, including delisting from the Toronto and New York stock exchanges, and a potential reduction in interest from strategic partners, that could destroy value for Aphria shareholders, with minimal offsetting operational, financial or strategic benefits.

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The news didn’t sit well with investors, as Aphria’s stock value dropped nine percent to $12.80 a share.

It was a losing day for many of the index’s popular pot stocks with Cronos Group falling 9.6 percent and Aurora Cannabis down 3.4 percent.

Also pressuring the exchange was Bank of Canada deputy governor Timothy Lane stating that uncertainty over U.S. trade policies is negatively impacting Canadian business investment.

Oil rose 32 cents to $53.98 US a barrel on tightening global supply and a less-than-expected rise in domestic crude inventory.

In New York, U.S. markets sputtered, the day after President Donald Trump delivered his State of the Union address.

The Dow edged 21 points lower while the Nasdaq gave back 26 points, as the tech and consumer sectors declined and Trump’s 82-minute speech didn’t ease investor sentiment on Wall Street.

Market movers included General Motors, which moved up 1.5 percent after its fourth-quarter profits topped analysts’ estimates, and a 1.2 percent drop in Tesla shares after the electric car maker lowered the price of its Model 3.

The Canadian dollar lost major traction against the greenback, slipping 45/100ths of a cent to $0.7572 US while gold also went for a plunge, losing $9.00 to $1,307 an ounce.

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