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TSX Poised For Lower Open Amid Weak Global Cues - Canadian Commentary

Canadian stocks are poised for a soft opening Monday amid falling commodities and weak cues from the global equity markets. Global stocks were mostly lower amid a recent spike in oil prices Meanwhile, remarks by Moody's Investors Service that a Greek default "remains high" also weighed on trader sentiment.

Elsewhere, the G20 finance ministers and central bank governors, who met over the weekend, called for further enhancement of euro zone's bailout fund before the rest of the G20 nations can consider increasing their contribution to the International Monetary Fund's resources.

U.S. stock futures were pointing to a lower open.

On Friday, the S&P/TSX Composite Index snapped its three-session winning streak to edge down 5.52 points or 0.04 percent to 12,725.77.

The price of crude oil was paring its recent gains Monday morning amid a steady U.S. dollar and weak cues from the global equity markets. Crude for April was down $0.94 to $108.83 a barrel.

The price of gold was leveling off from its 3-month high Monday morning as the U.S. dollar halted its southward journey versus a basket of currencies and global equities moved lower amid a surge in oil prices. Gold for April was down $4.40 to $1,772.00 an ounce.

In corporate news from Canada, HSBC Bank Canada, a subsidiary of HSBC Holdings plc, posted a fourth-quarter profit of C$118 million, compared to last year's C$102 million.

International pharmaceuticals company Valeant Pharmaceuticals International (VRX.TO) swung to profit in the fourth quarter, reporting net income of C$55.86 million or C$0.18 per share compared to a net loss of C$31.13 million or C$0.10 per share in the prior year. Adjusted earnings increased to C$0.94 per share from C$0.50 per share.

South America focused oil and gas explorer Gran Tierra Energy (GTE.TO) reported over 2-fold jump in its fourth quarter net income at $126.9 million or $0.45 per share compared to $37.2 million or $0.15 per share a year ago.

Natural, organic and specialty foods products company SunOpta Inc. (SOY.TO) said it expects to report a loss of $0.11 per diluted common share and a loss from continuing operations of $0.06 per diluted common share for the fourth quarter of 2011. Further, it announced plans to trim its workforce by 6 percent, reduce number of divisions and restructure operations to save about $3 million a year in operating costs.

In economic news, euro zone's broad monetary aggregate M3 grew 2.5 percent year-on-year in January, data published by the European Central Bank showed. The increase exceeded December's 1.5 percent rise and 1.8 percent rise forecast by economists.

by RTTNews Staff Writer

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