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CANADA STOCKS-Toronto index heads for weekly loss as cannabis stocks weigh

Sept 10 (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index slipped on Friday and was on track to record weekly losses as a weakness in shares of cannabis companies offset a bounce in oil stocks, with investors also assessing the latest monthly jobs report.

The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index slipped 0.2% to 20,665.51 after gaining in early opening trade. The benchmark was on course to end the week 0.7% lower.

The country added 90,200 jobs in August, slightly below expectations, while the unemployment rate dropped to 7.1%, its lowest point since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, Statistics Canada data showed, driving the Canadian dollar 0.5% higher.

“I think people are taking that (job data) as a positive,” said Colin Cieszynski, chief market strategist at SIA Wealth Management.

“That is a sign of confidence in the economy and in the reopening and that certainly is helping to boost the Canadian dollar this morning.”

Bank of Canada Governor Tiff Macklem on Thursday said the Canadian economy is moving closer to the point where the central bank will no longer need to continue adding stimulus through its quantitative easing program.

The energy sector rose 0.7%, leading gains as oil prices, one of Canada’s major exports, climbed towards $73 a barrel.

Miner Hudbay Minerals Inc jumped 7.2% after National Bank of Canada upgraded the stock to “outperform”.

Pot producer Tilray shed 1% after Piper Sandler cut its price target on the stock, saying it expects near-term headwinds in Canadian cannabis market. Its peers Canpoy Growth and Aurora Cannabis also fell 2.9% and 2.2%, respectively.

Global stock markets were buoyed by news of a call between Chinese leader Xi Jinping and U.S. President Joe Biden that raised hopes of a thaw in tensions between the world’s top economies. (Reporting by Amal S in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva)

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