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Canada’s main stock index capped June off on a high note ahead of the holiday weekend.

The S&P/TSX composite index closed up 74.47 points to 16,382.20.

Discretionary stocks were the biggest gainers, up 0.8 per cent with Canada Goose up 3 per cent, MTY Food Group up 2.5 per cent and Aritzia up 3.4 per cent.

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Materials gained 0.7 per cent and utilities were up 0.5 per cent.

BCE Inc. fell 0.26 per cent after it announced that CEO George Cope would retire in January after nearly 12 years in the top spot. Chief operating officer Mirko Bibic will take over on Jan. 5.

SNC-Lavalin was up 1 per cent after the company opted for a trial by a judge in its corruption case.

Canopy Growth fell 0.9 per cent. Constellation Brands Inc. said it was “not pleased” with Canopy Growth Corp.’s recent year-end results as the alcohol giant recorded a US$106-million loss in its own financial first quarter in connection with its stake in the Canadian cannabis company. The New York-based alcoholic beverage company’s chief executive Bill Newlands, however, said challenges were to be expected, pointing to the slow rollout of recreational pot stores in Ontario, among other headwinds for the pot industry.

The Canadian dollar traded at an average of 76.41 cents US, up from an average of 76.27 cents US on Thursday – a four-month high.

The August crude contract was down 96 cents at US$58.47 per barrel and the August natural gas contract was down 1.6 cents at $2.31 per mmBTU.

The August gold contract was up $1.70 at US$1,413.70 an ounce and the September copper contract was down 0.3 of a cent at $2.71 a pound.

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Canada’s economy grew by 0.3 per cent in April, compared with the previous month, on increases in mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction as well as stronger wholesale trade, Statistics Canada said on Friday.

Other data showed that producer prices in Canada edged 0.1 per cent higher in May from April on higher prices for energy and petroleum products, as well as autos and motor vehicle engines and parts.

Wall Street advanced on Friday, with the S&P 500 and the Dow closing the book on their best June in generations, ahead of the much-anticipated trade talks between U.S. President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping at the G20 summit in Japan.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 72.84 points, or 0.27 per cent, to 26,599.42, the S&P 500 gained 16.53 points, or 0.57 per cent, to 2,941.45 and the Nasdaq Composite added 38.49 points, or 0.48 per cent, to 8,006.24.

All three major U.S. stock indexes were higher near the close of the week, month, quarter and first half of the year, during which the U.S. stock market has had a remarkable run.

The S&P 500 had its best June since 1955. The Dow had its best June since 1938.

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For the month, the S&P rose 6.87 per cent, the Dow gained 7.18 per cent and the Nasdaq rose 7.42 per cent. For the week, the S&P fell 0.33 per cent, the Dow was off 0.49 per cent and the Nasdaq shed 0.32 per cent. For the quarter, the S&P was up 3.77 per cent, the Dow was up 2.58 per cent and the Nasdaq gained 3.58 per cent.

From the start of 2019, after investors fled equities amid fears of a global economic slowdown and sending stock markets tumbling in December, the benchmark S&P 500 is up 17 per cent, its largest first-half increase since 1997.

“This has largely been a rebound from the fourth quarter,” said Doug Cohen, managing director of portfolio management at Athena Capital Advisors in Boston. “Since then, the market’s been able to climb the proverbial wall of worry.”

Trump expressed hopes that his meeting with Xi at the Group of 20 summit will be productive, but said he had not made any promises about a reprieve from escalating tariffs.

“Right now, the consensus is that there will be a six-month reprieve from the tariff increases threatened by Trump. I think that’s more or less baked in to the markets,” Cohen added.

“People don’t want to be on the wrong side of good news.”

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Financial stocks led the gains in the S&P 500 and the Dow after the big U.S. banks passed Federal Reserve’s “stress test,” with the central bank giving the companies a clean bill of health. The S&P 500 Bank index was up 1.4 per cent..

All of the 11 major sectors in the S&P 500 were higher.

Financials, energy and tariff-vulnerable industrials were the biggest percentage gainers. Energy stocks gained 1.2 per cent and industrials were up 1 per cent.

Morgan Stanley advanced 0.7 per cent following an exclusive Reuters report that the broker would likely gain majority control of its China securities joint venture in the latter half of the year.

Constellation Brands Inc reported better-than-expected quarterly results and raised its full-year guidance due to healthy beer demand, sending its shares up 4.6 per cent.

In economic news, consumer spending rose moderately in May and prices edged higher, implying a slow-down in economic growth and benign inflation pressures, providing the Federal Reserve rationale for a possible interest rate cut in July.

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Reuters

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