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Early Signals Point To Positive Open For TSX - Canadian Commentary

Canadian stocks are poised to extend gains at open Tuesday amid firm commodities and positive cues from the global equity markets. Global stocks gained after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke yesterday indicated that ultra-low interest rates would continue.

However, profit taking after recent upsurges might cap big gains later during the session.

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

On Monday, the S&P/TSX Composite Index extended gains for a second session, adding 109.13 points or 0.88 percent to 12,574.79.

The price of crude oil was hovering near $107 Tuesday morning as traders await cues from today's economic data. Today after the market hours, the API will release its crude oil inventories report for the weekended March 23. Crude for May edged down $0.20 to $106.83

The price of gold moved back near the $1,700-mark Tuesday morning as the U.S. dollar turned weak after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke hinted that interest rates will stay lower for longer. Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke said on Monday that the economy needed to grow more quickly to cut the unemployment rate. While he did not directly indicate that the Fed was set to begin another round of bond purchases, he said a continuation of accommodative policies was needed to support faster growth. Gold for April was adding $1.60 to $1,687.20 an ounce.

In corporate news from Canada, crude oil transporter Enbridge Inc. (ENB.TO) announced plans to invest $4 billion in a new round of construction.

Oil and natural gas company Condor Petroleum (CPI.TO) reported a wider fiscal 2011 net loss of C$12.44 million compared to last year's C$11.74 million. However, loss per share narrowed to C$0.04 from C$0.06 a year ago. Looking ahead, Condor said it plans to drill up to 14 additional wells at Zharkamys during 2012, including 10 exploration wells and 4 Shoba appraisal wells.

Base-metals miner Iberian Minerals Corp. (IZN.V) posted a narrower fourth quarter net loss of $27.9 million or $0.06 per share compared to $59.9 million or $0.18 per share in the previous year period. Analysts were expecting the company to report a loss of $0.03 per share this quarter.

In economic news from the euro zone, Germany's consumer confidence is set to drop in April, a survey by market research group GfK showed. The forward-looking consumer sentiment index came in at 5.9, down slightly from 6 points in March. Economists were expecting it to remain stable at 6 points. Economic expectations improved slightly once again and willingness to buy almost remained at the same high level, but income expectations fell, reversing the strong improvement of the previous month.

by RTTNews Staff Writer

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