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The S&P/TSX Composite Index closed down 48.94 points, or 0.30%, at 16,197.78, with most sectors finishing in the red. In the U.S., stocks also closed lower as technology shares sold off for a third day in a row. It was the first such weekly streak for the Nasdaq since August 2019.

But in a rare departure from the U.S. market, the tech sector in Canada closed higher, as Shopify shares rallied 4.05%.

Apple Inc, Microsoft Corp, Amazon.com Inc and Alphabet Inc, which helped to fuel the rally off the March lows, were among the biggest drags on the S&P 500 and Nasdaq.

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Friday marked the quarterly expiration of U.S. stock options, stock index futures and index option contracts, known as “quadruple witching.” The expirations tend to bring about increased trading volume at the market close and feed into market volatility.

Strategists said investors appeared to be continuing a recent rotation out of high-flying tech-related stocks and into other sectors.

“It looks to be sentiment driven and, to some extent, it appears to be rotational to us,” said Rob Haworth, senior investment strategist at U.S. Bank Wealth Management in Seattle.

“We’re not sure this really indicates there’s a problem with economic growth, but rather, it’s some profit-taking, some adjustment and rotation” between sectors, he said. “You’re moving from the biggest weights in the market to the smallest weights.”

The S&P materials is the best-performing sector so far this month, while heavily weighted S&P technology is the worst.

Unofficially, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 249 points, or 0.89%, to 27,652.98, the S&P 500 lost 37.89 points, or 1.13%, to 3,319.12 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 118.00 points, or 1.08%, to 10,792.28.

Investors kept a close eye on rising coronavirus cases overseas. European countries from Denmark to Greece announced new restrictions on Friday to curb surging coronavirus infections in some of their largest cities, while Britain was reported to be considering a new national lockdown.

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Oil prices were unchanged on Friday, weighed after a Libyan commander said a blockade on the country’s oil exports would be lifted for a month, while supportive signals from an OPEC+ meeting lifted futures.

Both the U.S. and Brent crude benchmarks posted weekly gains after Saudi Arabia pressed allies to stick to production quotas, Hurricane Sally cut U.S. production, and banks including Goldman Sachs predicted a supply deficit.

Brent fell 15 cents to settle at $43.15 a barrel, but rose 8.3% for the week. U.S. oil futures rose 14 cents to settle at $41.11 a barrel, and gained 10.1% for the week.

Market sentiment fell on Friday after eastern Libyan commander Khalifa Haftar announced he would lift his blockade of oil output for one month. The blockade slashed Libyan production to just over 100,000 barrels per day now from around 1.2 million bpd previously.

It was unclear how quickly Libya could ramp up production.

Read more: Stocks that saw action Friday - and why

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Reuters, Globe staff

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