TSX Rises On Trade Talks Hopes, Ends At 6-week High

The Canadian stock market ended on a buoyant note on Thursday, as stocks from across various sectors moved higher amid renewed optimism about trade talks and upbeat U.S. economic data.

U.S. and China are reportedly planning to hold high level trade talks in early October.

A statement from China’s Commerce Ministry said both sides agreed to the new round of talks during a phone call between Chinese Vice Premier and chief trade negotiator Liu He and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

A spokesperson for the U.S. Trade Representative’s office confirmed the phone call and said the U.S. and China agreed to hold meetings “in the coming weeks.”

Energy stocks rose sharply even as crude oil prices failed to hold early gains and settled flat. Gold’s sharp plunge weighed on materials shares.

Shares from healthcare, information technology, industrials, financial and consumer discretionary sections were in demand.

The benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index ended up 125.97 points, or 0.77%, at 16,574.81, after scaling a high of 16,604.40 intraday.

The Capped Energy Index ended stronger by 2.65%. Cenovus Energy (CVE.TO), Precision Drilling (PD.TO), Whitecap Resources (WCP.TO), Tourmaline Oil Corp (TOU.TO), MEG Energy (MEG.TO), Seven Generations Energy (VII.TO), Vermilion Energy (VET.TO), Encana Corp (ECA.TO), Shawcor (SCL.TO) and Crescent Point Energy (CPG.TO) gained 3 to 5%.

Baytex Energy (BTE.TO), Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO), Enerflex (EFX.TO), PrairieSky Royalty (PSK.TO), Suncor Energy (SU.TO), Enerplus (ERF.TO) and Imperial Oil (IMO.TO) also rose sharply.

The Capped Healthcare Index rose 3.73%. CannTrust Holdings (TRST.TO) and Canopy Growth Corporation (WEED.TO) both ended stronger by nearly 7.5%.

Hexo Corp. (HEXO.TO) gained 6%, while Cronos Group (CRON.TO) and Aurora Cannabis (ACB.TO) advanced by about 4.8%. Knight Therapeutics (GUD.TO), Baush Health Companies (BHC.TO), Aphria Inc. (APHA.TO) and Extendicare (EXE.TO) also closed with strong gains.

Manulife Financial (MFC.TO), up 3.33%, was

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