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TSX falls as energy, cannabis stocks weigh

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Canada’s main stock index slipped on Wednesday, as a drop in oil prices knocked energy stocks lower and heavyweight cannabis stocks came under pressure from a report about U.S. regulation of popular cannabis compound CBD.

At 10:15 a.m. ET (1515 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index was down 90.97 points, or 0.47%, at 19,415.68, with the index set to decline on a yearly-basis for the first time since 2018.

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The Wall Street’s main indexes rose on Wednesday, as a dip in U.S. Treasury yields boosted growth stocks.

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“Right now, no one seems to want to take on any added risk; everybody seems to be hands off and trading volumes are down for the holidays,” said Allan Small, senior investment advisor of the Allan Small Financial Group with iA Private Wealth.

“The market is struggling, looking for signs that can get people excited about the market at these cheap levels.”

Commodity-fueled gains earlier in the year have helped the benchmark TSX outperform the U.S. S&P 500 index so far this year, down 8.5% versus a 19.5% drop for the latter.

Energy stocks lost 2.1% on Wednesday. However, a decline in oil prices over concerns about a surge in COVID-19 cases in China outweighed expectations that easing pandemic curbs would lead to economic recovery and demand for fuel.

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Rate-sensitive technology stocks slipped 0.6%, falling to their lowest level in more than a month as yield on the Canadian 10-year benchmark note rose.

Pot stocks such as Canopy Growth and Tilray Brands fell 6.2% and 7.9%, respectively, after the Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday that the U.S. health regulator is planning to make recommendations on how to regulate the use of popular cannabis compound CBD in food and supplements.

Canadian markets reopened after being closed for Christmas and Boxing Day holidays. (Reporting by Shashwat Chauhan in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila and Shailesh Kuber)

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