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AFTER THE BELL: Markets buoyed by U.S./China trade optimism, Facebook shares fall as social media giant mired in controversy

A surge in the financials and health care sectors along with renewed trade optimism gave Canada’s stock exchange a lift today.

The TSX gained 52 points, with nine of 11 sectors in the green.

It was a good day for many of the index’s financial stocks with Toronto Dominion, Royal Bank, and Manulife Financial each up more than 0.5 percent.

Another major market mover on both sides of the border was news of U.S. and China making meaningful steps towards finding a resolution to their ongoing tariff dispute.

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The pot-stock dominated health care sector was 1.8 percent higher, with Aurora Cannabis leading the gains.

The Canadian cannabis producer’s stock jumped another 7.6 percent to $12.83 a share, on the heels of hiring billionaire Nelson Peltz as a senior advisor.

The index’s oil-tied energy sector edged lower as crude dipped 24 cents to $58.37 US a barrel.

Oil prices retreated as the U.S.’s oil rig count fell to its lowest level in 11 months.

In New York, U.S./China trade optimism bolstered markets, with the Dow higher by 138 points and the Nasdaq jumping 57 points.

The Nasdaq climbed 0.7 percent despite the struggles of one of its influential FANG stocks.

Facebook was in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons, causing its stock to fall 2.4 percent.

The social media is reeling with the surprise departure of its chief product officer, Chris Cox, after 13 years with the company. The company is also under scrutiny after video footage of the deadly shooting in Christchurch, New Zealand was live-streamed on Facebook by the gunman.

Gold surged $7.10 to $1,302 an ounce while it was a flat day for the Canadian dollar, with the loonie losing 5/100ths of a cent to $0.7493 US.

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