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Canada’s main index rose on Monday as precious metal miners were lifted by higher gold prices.

At 11:30 a.m. ET, the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index was up 85.11 points, or 0.53 per cent, at 16,098.57.

The materials sector, which includes precious and base metals miners and fertilizer companies, added 2 per cent, as gold prices gained due to a softer dollar.

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Goldcorp Inc., Barrick Gold Corp. and Lundin Mining Corp. all rose 2.6 per cent, while Franco-Nevada Corp. and Wheaton Precious Metals Corp. were up 2.2 per cent.

The industrial sector was the only one of the 11 major sectors trading lower. The gains were led by the healthcare sector’s 3.7 per cent.

Aurora Cannabis Inc. jumped 13.6 percent, the most on the index, after a media report that the world’s largest beverage maker Coca Cola Co was in talks with the company to make marijuana-infused drinks. Rival Canopy Growth Corp. rose 2.6 per cent.

Centerra Gold Inc., which rose 9.8 per cent, was the second biggest gainer on the main index.

U.S. stocks veered lower in morning trading Monday amid speculation that the Trump administration is preparing to impose tariffs on another $200 billion-worth of Chinese goods. Technology stocks, restaurant chains and banks were among the decliners. Industrial and basic materials companies also rose as the dollar weakened.

The S&P 500 index fell 8 points, or 0.3 per cent, to 2,896 as of 11:22 a.m. Eastern Time. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 7 points to 26,146. The Nasdaq composite fell 72 points, or 0.9 per cent, to 7,937. The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies gave up 11 points, or 0.7 per cent, to 1,710.

Weekend reports suggest that President Donald Trump is ready to go through with threats to impose more tariffs on Chinese imports. The Wall Street Journal reported that the tariff level will likely be set at about 10 per cent, below the 25 per cent announced earlier this year.

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At the same time, U.S. officials, led by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, are preparing to hold new talks on the tariff dispute with Beijing. Envoys met last month in Washington but reported no progress. The two governments have already imposed 25 per cent tariffs on $50 billion of each other’s goods.

Amazon.com lost 2.3 per cent to $1,925.92 after The Wall Street Journal reported that the online retail giant is investigating suspected bribes and data leaks of its employees.

Several restaurant chains were trading lower. McDonald’s slid 1.8 per cent to $158.02. Chipotle Mexican Grill lost 1.3 per cent to $484.97.

Shares in Twitter fell 4.5 per cent to $28.75 after an analyst cut the price target on the social media company.

Airlines and other industrial sector stocks posted solid gains as the dollar weakened. American Airlines Group rose 1.9 per cent to $40.48, while Caterpillar added 1.5 per cent to $147.15.

Teva Pharmaceutical climbed 5.3 per cent to $24.06 after U.S. regulators approved the drugmaker’s preventative migraine treatment.

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Oil prices were little changed on Monday as market participants weighed potential supply cuts from U.S. sanctions on Iran with deepening trade tensions between the United States and China that could dent global crude demand.

Brent crude futures rose 13 cents to $78.22 a barrel, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures fell 8 cents to $68.91 a barrel.

“We believe that the full effect of the Iranian oil sanctions has yet to be seen and we feel that the next 5-6 week anticipatory phase of the official sanctions will associate with steady speculative buying interest,” Jim Ritterbusch, president of Ritterbusch and Associates, said in a note.

Iran’s oil exports have been falling in recent months as more buyers, including its second-largest buyer India, cut imports ahead of U.S. sanctions that take effect in November. Washington aims to cut Iran’s oil exports down to zero to force Tehran to re-negotiate a nuclear deal.

“Iranian crude oil export loadings have declined by 580,000 barrels per day in the past three months,” Bank of America Merrill Lynch analysts said in a note to clients.

Since spring when the Trump Administration said it would impose the sanctions, crude traders have priced in a risk premium reflecting the supply shortages that may occur when exports from Iran, the third-largest OPEC producer, are cut.

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Reuters

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