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AFTER THE BELL: Markets fall on U.S./China trade uncertainty, clocks ticks down to another government shutdown

North American markets just couldn’t gain traction today, dragged by global trade uncertainty and falling bank and health care stocks.

The TSX was off by 64 points with seven of 11 sectors trading lower.

Heavily traded Cannabis producers weighted the exchange, with Aurora Cannabis, Aphria, and Canopy Growth losing between 4.5 and 9.8 percent.

A bright was the energy sector, which edged up 0.7 percent despite a slide in oil prices.

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Oil lost 30 cents to $52.42 US a barrel as uncertainty over U.S./China trade negotiations raised concerns over demand.

U.S. markets wobbled as Washington and Beijing continue to work on a trade deal and the clock ticks down to another potential government shutdown.

The deadline for a trade deal between the world’s economic superpowers is March 1 while the U.S. government has until Friday to agree on a new budget, or risk another shutdown.

The Dow was down 53 points and the Nasdaq sat nine points above the flat line.

Trade sensitive Boeing edged 0.2 percent lower while Apple was off 0.5 percent on news of a near 20 percent plunge in fourth quarter iPhone shipments to China.

The loonie was flat against the greenback, edging down 3/100ths of a cent to $0.7517 US while gold lost $7.10 to $1,308 an ounce.

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