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AFTER THE BELL: TSX flat as drops in tech, industrials sectors offset energy gains, Trump open to extending China/U.S. trade deal deadline

The TSX edged 15 points lower today with losses in eight major sectors.

Helping to limit the losses on Canada’s stock exchange were increases in the oil-influenced energy sector and pot-stock heavy health care sector.

Oil prices moved 93 cents higher to $54.03 US a barrel as demand heightens due to continued production cuts from Saudi Arabia, which is the world’s largest exporter. The Arab country has said it will curb exports and cut its production even further.

Shares in Canadian energy companies including oil and natural gas producer Encana Corporation, Baytex Energy, and Cenovus Energy all jumped more than four percent.

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Marijuana producers were also higher, led by a 4.7 percent rise in Canopy Growth’s stock value. Canopy Growth is expected to announce its third quarter earnings after the final bell on Thursday, and many analysts are predicting a huge jump in the Ontario company’s quarterly sales revenue.

But not everything wasn’t rosy on Bay Street with the tech sector falling one percent and the industrials sector down half a percent.

Meanwhile, Barrick Gold weighted the index, slipping 3.9 percent after the mining company reported a net loss of $1.2 billion in the fourth quarter, due in part to problems at two of its mines in South America.

In New York, the Dow climbed 117 points while the Nasdaq inched five points above the flat line, led higher by strong corporate results and heightened optimism over U.S./China trade negotiations.

U.S. President Donald Trump recently said that he is open to extending the March 1 deadline for a deal to be struck.

Capping gains was a wobble among two influential tech stocks, with Apple down 0.4 percent and Netflix falling 2.2 percent.

Gold edged higher in price while the Canadian dollar was flat. The loonie was down 23/100ths of a cent to $0.7541 US while gold lost $5.30 to $1,306 an ounce.

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