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AFTER THE BELL: TSX drops despite strong GDP data, higher oil prices; U.S. markets buoyed by U.S./China trade progress

Losses in the pivotal energy and financials sectors pulled Canada’s stock exchange into negative territory today.

The TSX fell 53 points despite a lift in oil prices and positive economic data from Statistics Canada.

A weight was aerospace giant Bombardier, which slipped 4.4 percent and was the most heavily-traded company on the index, supplanting perennial front runner Aurora Cannabis which moved two percent into the green.

Canada’s energy sector wobbled, even with oil rising 89 cents to $60.19 US a barrel.

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Bolstering demand was OPEC supply cuts and U.S. sanctions against Iran and Venezuela.

Meanwhile, Stats Canada reported today that the nation’s economy grew by 0.3 percent in January, fully offsetting the declines in November and December of 2018.

The rise was widespread as 18 of 20 industrial sectors were higher. StatsCan also noted that Canada’s manufacturing sector rose 1.5 percent in January.

In New York, perceived progress in a potential U.S./China trade deal boosted sentiment and lifted markets.

Representatives from the world’s two largest economies wrapped up negotiations today, with America’s secretary treasurer saying that talks were “constructive.”

The Dow added 211 points while the Nasdaq was 60 points higher to end the week.

Industrial bellwethers Boeing and Caterpillar traded higher, up 1.8 and 2.3 percent respectively.

Ride-sharing giant Lyft achieved lift-off in its trading debut, by rising 8.7 percent. Lyft is the U.S.’s second largest ride-hail service in the U.S. behind Uber.

Overseas, there was yet another blow to British Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit bid, as MPs rejected her deal to leave the European Union for a third time.

Gold climbed $1.50 to $1,294 an ounce while the loonie rose 45/100ths of a cent to $0.7486 US.

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