Canadian stocks may struggle for direction at open Friday amid flat commodities and on mixed cues from the global equity markets. While Asian markets ended mixed, European shares pared early gains to linger in the red, even after better-than-expected German and French consumer data.
U.S. stock futures were pointing to a flat open.
On Thursday, the S&P/TSX Composite Index ended almost flat, edging up 1.27 points or 0.01 percent to 11,566.07.
The price of crude oil was hovering just over $90 Friday morning as traders await more clarity on the euro zone developments. Crude for July eased $0.06 to $90.60 a barrel.
The price of gold was steady Friday morning as the euro was struggling to level off from its 2-year low versus the U.S. dollar. Gold for June edged up $0.50 to $1,558.00 an ounce.
In corporate news from Canada, specialty food products company SunOpta Inc. (SOY.TO) said it would sell its Canadian natural health products distribution business, operated as Purity Life Natural Health Products, to an affiliate of Banyan Capital Partners for C$14.7 million.
Metals distribution and processing company Russel Metals Inc. (RUS.TO) said it would acquire Alberta Industrial Metals Ltd., a metals distribution and processing service center, for $30 million.
Envelope manufacturer Supremex Inc. (SXP.TO) said Stephane Lavigne, Vice-President and Chief Financial Officer, has resigned to pursue new professional challenges.
Junior oil and natural gas exploration company Ironhorse Oil & Gas Inc. (IOG.V) reported lower first-quarter funds from operations of C$233,000 or C$0.01 per share compared to C$542,000 or C$0.02 per share in the previous year quarter.
Victoria Gold (VIT.V) said it would divest its interest in the Mill Canyon Property, located in Eureka and Lander Counties, Nevada to a wholly-owned subsidiary of Barrick Gold (ABX.TO) for about $24 million.
In economic news, latest survey by the Conference Board of Canada revealed consumer confidence surging across the country. The Board said its May index shot up 5.8 points to 80.8, sharply reversing a relatively poor performance in April.
From the euro zone, confidence among German consumers is set to remain stable in June, as the country's vibrant labor market and export gains shielded the economy from the turbulent economic conditions in the rest of euro zone. The consumer confidence index for June was at 5.7, unchanged from the revised reading of May. The May score was revised from 5.6 reported previously. Consumers are considerably more optimistic in May than in the previous month and the willingness to buy also improved slightly, GfK said in its latest report.
by RTT Staff Writer
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