The Canadian stock market is down in negative territory on Friday, extending recent losses, as traders continue to refrain from making significant purchases amid the holiday season.
Weakness in Asian and European markets and a lack of fresh triggers to warrant any buying are also contributing to the decline.
Healthcare stocks, which suffered sharp losses in recent sessions, are bouncing back. Energy, consumer discretionary and information technology stocks are finding modest support.
Shares from consumer staples, materials and industrial sections are weak. Financial shares are also mostly subdued.
The benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index is down 52.90 points, or 0.31%, at 17,045.66 at noon. Earlier, the index touched a low of 17,028.16.
Cannabis shares Cronos Group (CRON.TO) and Aurora Cannabis (ACB.TO) are up 13.3% and 10.5%, respectively. Canopy Growth Corp (WEED.TO) is up nearly 10% and Aphria Inc. (APHA.TO) is rising 8.5%, while Hexo Corp (HEXO.TO) is up 5%.
Energy stocks Encana Corp (ECA.TO), Whitecap Resources (WCP.TO), Tourmaline Oil Corp (TOU.TO), Arc Resources (ARX.TO) and PrairieSky Royalty (PSK.TO) are gaining 1 to 2%.
Trading was halted at Hudson’s Bay Co. (HBC.TO) counter after the stock’s volatile movements triggered a regulatory safety mechanism. The stock soared 22%, triggering the circuit break. On resumption, it retreated slightly from higher levels, but is still going strong, gaining about 17.5%.
The company is in the midst of proxy battle between a group led by executive chairman Richard Baker and a dissident shareholder group that opposes Baker’s plan to take the company private.