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TSX Rebounds As Commodities Pare Losses - Canadian Commentary

Canadian stocks were rebounding from their five-month lows Thursday morning on value buying after falling in the past six straight sessions. Also, reports that Greek leaders are working to form a coalition helped lift trader sentiment.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index gained 75.63 points or 0.65 percent to 11,750.64, after losing over 600 points or nearly 6 percent in the past six straight sessions.

The price of crude oil was trading flat amid a generally steady U.S. dollar and on concerns over demand growth. Meanwhile, the OPEC maintained its world oil demand growth in 2012 at 0.9 mbd amid stabilization of the US economy and the shutdown of Japanese nuclear power plants. Crude for June eased $0.18 to $96.63 a barrel.

In the oil patch, Crescent Point Energy (CPG.TO) rose nearly 5 percent after posting first quarter net loss of C$3.89 million or C$0.01 per share, narrower than C$102.22 million or C$0.38 per share a year ago.

Niko Resources (NKO.TO), Trilogy Energy (TET.TO) and Tourmaline Oil (TOU.TO) moved up over 3 percent each.

On the other hand, Crew Energy Inc. (CR.TO) dived over 5 percent even after posting a much improved first-quarter funds from operations of C$48.06 million or C$0.40 per share compared with C$24.11 million or C$0.29 per share last year.

Among financial stocks, Royal Bank (RY.TO), TD Bank (TD.TO) and Laurentian Bank (LB.TO) were up around 2 percent each.

Insurer Sun Life Financial (SLF.TO) said its first-quarter net income advanced to C$686 million or C$1.15 per share from C$438 million or C$0.73 per share last year. Operating net income grew to C$1.22 per share from C$0.82 per share in the 2011 first quarter. Analysts were expecting the company report earnings per share of C$0.74 for the quarter. The stock added nearly 1 percent.

Brookfield Asset Management (BAM_A.TO) edged down 0.25 percent after it said its first quarter profit was $416 million or $0.60 per share versus $278 million or $0.41 per share a year ago.

The price of gold was little changed Thursday morning as the US dollar was steady, with traders focusing on the developments in the euro zone. Gold for June edged up $1.60 to $1,595.80 an ounce.

Among gold plays, Royal Gold (RGL.TO) added nearly 2 percent.

North American focused gold miner AuRico Gold Inc. (AUQ.TO) gained over 5 percent even after reporting lower first quarter net earnings of $1.35 million or breakeven per share compared to $11.79 million or $0.09 per share in the year ago quarter.

Uranium producer Denison Mines Corp. (DML.TO) gained over 5 percent even after reporting a wider first-quarter net loss of $52.0 million or $0.14 per share, compared to $7.1 million or $0.02 per share last year.

Packaging and tissue products company Cascades Inc. (CAS.TO) added over 3 percent after it swung to profit in first quarter, reporting net earnings of C$6 million or C$0.06 per share versus a loss of C$8 million or C$0.08 per share a year ago. Net earnings, excluding specific items, were C$4 million or C$0.04 per share, higher than C$1 million or C$0.01 per share in the same quarter last year. Analysts were expecting the company report breakeven per share.

Meanwhile, Aurizon Mines Ltd. (ARZ.TO) dipped nearly 3 percent after its quarterly profits came in below consensus estimates. The company reported improved first quarter net profit of C$8.3 million or C$0.05 per share compared to net profit of C$2.5 million or C$0.02 per share in the same period of 2011. Analysts were expecting the company report earnings of C$0.10 per share.

Transportation company Bombardier Inc. (BBD_A.TO, BBD_B.TO) was down over 2 percent after posting lower first-quarter net income of $190 million or $0.10 per share, versus the prior-year quarter's $220 million or $0.12 per share.

Health services provider CML HealthCare Inc. (CLC.TO) reported improved first-quarter net income of $18 million or $0.20 per share, compared to $14.4 million or $0.16 per share last year. The stock slipped 0.70 percent.

In economic news, Statistics Canada said merchandise exports edged down 0.4 percent and imports decreased 0.6 percent, helping the trade surplus to increase from $273 million in February to $351 million in March.

From the U.S., the Labor Department said initial jobless claims for the weekended May 05 came in at 367,000, while economists expected the claims at 366,000

Separately, the U.S. Commerce Department showed that the trade deficit widened to $51.8 billion in March from a revised $45.4 billion in February. Economists had expected the deficit to widen to $49.5 billion from the $46.0 billion originally reported for the previous month.

From the euro zone, the Bank of England held its interest rates at a record low of 0.50 percent and maintained the size of its bond buying program unchanged despite the double-dip recession domestically, as widely expected.

by RTTNews Staff Writer

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