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Toronto Ticks Higher on Trade Optimism

Canada's main stock index edged higher on Tuesday on hopes of resumption in the U.S.-China trade talks, although a plunge in BlackBerry's shares on weak results and a slide in oil prices capped gains.

The S&P/TSX retained gains of 11.46 points to greet noon at 16,878.66

The Canadian dollar slumped 0.01 cents at 75.42 cents U.S.

BlackBerry's shares fell $1.94, or 19.5%, on track for their biggest percentage drop since early 2015, to $7.99, after the company cut the top end of its revenue forecast for the current year, hit by weak demand for its software amid increasing competition.

Shares of a handful of energy firms including Birchcliff Energy, Ensign Energy Services, Kelt Exploration and NuVista Energy dropped between 0.8% and 3.2% after they were booted out of the S&P/TSX Composite index on Monday because their market capitalization has dropped below minimum requirements.

A drop in gold prices also hurt shares of miners, while pot companies dropped, with Cronos Group's 70-cent decline, or 5.2%, the heaviest of the bunch, to $12.85.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange deleted 2.05 points to 587.93

Seven of the 12 Toronto subgroups remained positive approaching midday, with consumer staples up 1.1%, utilities better by 0.9%, and communications up 0.8%.

The five laggards were weighed most by health-care, ailing 2.8%, information technology down 1.9%, and energy, falling 1.2%.

ON WALLSTREET

Equities in New York chucked earlier gains and found themselves in the red by noon, as investors continue to be spooked by economic uncertainty.

The Dow Jones Industrials gave up 33.67 points to 26,916.32

The S&P 500 dropped 6.79 points to 2,984.99

The NASDAQ Composite let go of 57.21 points to 8,055.25

Several Wall Street analysts raised concern about Netflix's upcoming results, sending the stock down about 2.3%.

Apple, which has large exposure to the Chinese market, rose 1.1%. The iPhone maker also got a boost after a Jefferies analyst said investors are underestimating “the benefit Apple gets from this heading into the 5G cycle.” Chipmaker Nvidia advanced 0.8%.

On the data front, consumer confidence for September slipped to 125.1 from 135.1 in August. Economists expected a dip to 133.5.

News reports circulated Tuesday that China granted new waivers to several companies exempting them from tariffs on at least two million tons of U.S. soybeans. The report added some companies have already bought about 1.2 million tons of soybeans.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin also confirmed trade talks between the world's two largest economies would resume next month. In media interviews, Mnuchin said negotiators from the U.S. and China had made some progress in last week's deputy-level meetings.

Prices for the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury gained ground, lowering yields to 1.66% from Monday's 1.72%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions

Oil prices sank 86 cents to $57.78 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices regained $1.80 to $1,533.30 U.S. an ounce.

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