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AFTER THE BELL: TSX clings to gains, Trump targets higher oil prices, U.S. economy shrinks

Canada’s stock exchange managed to cling to modest gains despite a dip in oil prices and a plunge in the gold sector.

The TSX moved up 22 points with gains in seven of 11 sectors.

President Donald Trump factored into a down day for crude, after he took to Twitter to voice his displeasure about supply cuts by the world’s largest producers.

Trump tweeted that it was “very important that OPEC increase the flow of oil. Trump added that “world markets are fragile,” and that the “price of oil is getting too high.”

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Prices clawed back from session lows, however, with oil off by two cents to $59.39 US a barrel.

In New York, markets rose on Wall Street with the Dow adding 91 points and the Nasdaq up by 25 points.

This comes as investors digest data showing that the U.S. economy grew by 2.2 percent in the final quarter of 2018, falling short of the original estimate of 2.6 percent.

Overall, America’s economy grew by 2.9 percent last year.

A drop in consumer spending and ongoing trade tensions were among the culprits in the slowdown.

On the subject of trade, White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said the U.S. would be willing to lift tariffs on China as negotiations resumed today between the global economic superpowers. However, Kudlow also said that talks between Washington and Beijing could stretch out to weeks, or even months.

There was a dramatic drop in gold prices against a stronger US dollar.

Gold slumped by $21.20 to $1,292 an ounce while the loonie weakened by 18/100ths of a cent to $0.7438 US.

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