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

Canadian stocks may struggle to move higher Friday amid mixed cues from the commodities and global equity markets. While Asian markets ended mixed overnight, European shares were lingering in the red in the absence of any positive catalysts. Meanwhile commodities halted their downward journey as the US dollar was mixed ahead of housing data.

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

On Thursday, the S&P/TSX Composite Index lost 74.68 points or 0.60 percent to 12,361.81.

The price of crude oil was recovering form a weekly low, with crude for May delivery adding $0.41 to $105.76 a barrel.

The price of gold moved back near the $1,650-mark Friday morning amid a generally weak US dollar. Gold for April gained $7.20 to $1,649.70 an ounce.

In corporate news from Canada, Silver Wheaton (SLW.TO) reported a much improved fourth quarter net earnings of $144.7 million or $0.41 per share compared to $63.9 million in the same quarter last year. Adjusted net earnings for the prior year quarter were $120.7 or $0.35 per share.

Transportation company Bombardier Inc (BBD_B.TO) announced that its unit Bombardier Aerospace has appointed Albert K Li as General Manager and Head of Bombardier Aerospace China with effect from April 2, 2012.

Oil and gas producer Pengrowth Energy (PGF.TO) said it would buy NAL Energy Corp (NAE.TO) in exchange of 0.86 shares of each of the latter's shares, a deal valued at about C$1.9 billion.

In economic news, Statistics Canada said its consumer price index rose 2.6 percent in the 12 months to February after increasing 2.5 percent in January. Economists expected consumer prices to rise 2.7 percent. The cost of energy advanced 7.2 percent annually in February, as prices at the pump jumped almost 9 percent. Food prices rose 4.1 percent on a year-over-year basis in February, following a 4.2 percent increase in January. Stripping out volatile components, the Bank of Canada's core index rose 2.3 percent in the 12 months to February, after increasing 2.1 percent in January.

From the euro zone, confidence among France's businesses improved markedly in March with their production outlook improving significantly, a survey by the statistical office Insee revealed. The headline synthetic index rose to 96 in March from a February's revised reading of 93. Economists expected an increase to 93 from February's original reading of 92.

by RTT Staff Writer

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