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TSX Settles Modestly Higher After Volatile Session

(RTTNews) - The Canadian stock market ended modestly higher after a volatile session on Friday. Gains in energy and healthcare shares led the market to a positive close.

The benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index ended up 56.79 points, or 0.40%, at 14,222.00, after scaling a low of 14,174.04 and a high of 14,326.86 intraday.

Aphria (APHA.TO) rose as much as 12.55%. Aurora Cannabis gained 4.7% and Canopy Growth Corporation (WEED.TO) closed with a gain of 2.2%.

In the energy space, Energy shares Baytex Energy Corp. (BTE.TO) gained nearly 7%. PrairieSky Royalty (PSK.TO) moved up 4%, while Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO), Vermilion Energy (VET.TO) and Tourmaline Oil Corp. (TOU.TO) ended higher by 1 to 1.6%. Crescent Point Energy (CPG.TO) gained 2.8%.

Bombardier Inc. (BBD.B.TO), Maxar Technologies (MAXR.TO) and Zymeworks Inc. (ZYME.TO) were among the other impressive gainers in the session.

In commodities, crude oil futures ended up $0.72, or 1.6%, at $45.33 a barrel.

Gold futures for February ended up $1.90, or 0.1%, at $1,283.00 an ounce, after rising to $1,284.55, the highest level in about 6-1/2 months.

Silver futures for March closed at $15.436 an ounce, up $0.126 from Thursday's close. Copper futures for March settled at $2.615 per pound, down $0.053 from previous close.

U.S. stocks swung between gains and losses and eventually ended mixed on Friday. The Dow dipped 0.3% and the S&P 500 edged down by 0.1%, while the Nasdaq closed marginally up.

On the U.S. economic front, the National Association of Realtors released a report showing a continued drop in pending home sales in the month of November.

NAR said its pending home sales index fell by 0.7% to 101.4 in November after plunging by 2.6% to 102.1 in October. The continued decline in pending home sales matched economist estimates.

A separate report from MNI Indicators showed growth in Chicago-area business activity pulled back in December after accelerating sharply in November, although the pace of growth slowed by much less than anticipated.

Most of the markets in Europe ended notably higher. Among the major indices, the DAX of Germany climbed 1.71% and the CAC of France rose 1.74%. The FTSE 100 of the U.K. gained 2.27% and the SMI of Switzerland finished higher by 2.85%.
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