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Update: TSX Posts Modest Gains, Adding 26 Points, Paced by Cannabis Stocks, Stronger Crude Oil Prices


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Canada's main stock market opened the week with a modest rise, boosted by cannabis stocks and higher crude oil prices . The S&P/TSX Composite Index added 26 points or 0.2%, to close at 15,604 Monday. The TSX opened with a gain on the ongoing enthusiasm from Friday's rally after the strong U.S. jobs report, but was weighed down by losses south of the border, where the Nasdaq hit record highs, thanks to optimism related to last week's jobs report, while the broader U.S. markets retreated, with the Dow shedding more than 150 points.

Sector wise on the TSX, healthcare led the way as cannabis stocks rose. Materials were also stronger despite weaker gold and silver prices . Energy also lost ground even as crude oil prices shed 1.1%. Financials were modestly weaker.

In stock news, Cara Operations (CARA.TO) jumped more than 12% as same store sales rose, the restaurant company raised its divided and received an upgrade from BMO. Valeant Pharmaceuticals (VRX.TO) added 1% following its debt offering, while Barrick Gold (ABX.TO) gained 3% following an analyst upgrade. Heavily traded Aurora Cannabis (ACB.TO) rose 2.5% while Canopy Growth (WEED.TO) gained nearly 5%.

There were no economic reports in Canada today. On Tuesday, Bank of Canada Governor Poloz speaks on "Today's labour market and the future of work." The text of his prepared speech will be available 10:15am ET on Tuesday. The governor will hold a press conference at 11:45am ET. The data and events calendar shifts to the slow lane this week after the busy docket seen last week. Manufacturing shipments (Friday) are expected to fall 1.0% in January (m/m) after the 0.3% dip in December, driven by the 2.1% tumble in export values revealed in the January trade report. Q4 net worth (Thursday) will be closely watched, as the report contains the debt-to-disposable income ratio. The ratio saw a record high 171.1% in Q3, and could move even higher in Q4 to underpin the elevated degree of sensitivity household have to higher interest rates. The report should underpin the BoC's go-slow approach to policy normalization. February existing home sales are due Thursday. The Teranet/National Bank HPI for February is scheduled for Wednesday. International securities transactions for January are out Friday. Meanwhile, Canadians' collective household debt was up 6% in the fourth quarter of last year from the same period in 2016. Equifax Canada says Canadian consumers now owe more than $1.82 trillion, including mortgages.

The Canadian dollar lost more than a tenth-of-a-cent to 77.92 US.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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