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CANADA STOCKS-TSX near flat as financials rise, marijuana producers pull back
January 4, 2018 / 4:00 PM / 12 days ago

CANADA STOCKS-TSX near flat as financials rise, marijuana producers pull back

(Adds details throughout on stocks and sectors; updates prices)

TORONTO, Jan 4 (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index was little changed on Thursday as the financial and industrial groups climbed, while shares of energy and marijuana producers pared some recent gains.

* At 10:46 a.m. EST (1546 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index rose 0.1 of a point to 16,371.65. It touched an all-time intraday high of 16,404.12.

* The heavyweight financials group rose 0.5 percent as bond yields climbed after data showing a stronger-than-expected gain in U.S. private employment. Manulife Financial Corp advanced 1.5 percent to C$26.56.

* Higher yields reduce the value of insurance companies’ liabilities and increase net interest margins of banks.

* Industrials firmed 0.3 percent, with Waste Connections Inc up 1.2 percent at C$87.86 after two analysts raised their price target on the stock.

* The biggest gainer on the index was Prometic Life Sciences Inc , which rose 8.5 percent to C$1.53.

* Six of the index’s 10 main groups were lower.

* The energy group, which had rallied as much as 11.9 percent since mid-December, fell 0.7 percent. Encana Corp was down 2.3 percent at C$16.91.

* U.S. crude prices were little changed at $61.66 a barrel.

* The largest decliner on the TSX was Aphria Inc, down 10.3 percent at C$19.25. Another marijuana producer, Canopy Growth Co, fell 9.9 percent to $32.34.

* The U.S. Department of Justice on Thursday will rescind an earlier marijuana policy under former Democratic President Barack Obama that eased enforcement of federal laws amid a growing number of local legalization efforts, according to a source familiar with the change. (Reporting by Fergal Smith; Editing by Jonathan Oatis)

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