Canadian stocks may open higher Thursday as heavy losses in the previous session made valuations attractive. Steady commodities and positive earnings reports from CIBC might help lift sentiment. However, persisting concerns over the euro zone financial situation might continue to weigh and cap any meaningful gains over the course of the session.
U.S. stock futures were pointing to a higher open.
On Wednesday, the S&P/TSX Composite Index lost 176.08 points or 1.52 percent to 11,433.22.
The price of crude oil oil was ticking lower after falling heavily to hit a fresh 7-month low in the previous session. Yesterday, oil shed over 3 percent to settle at a seven-month low on increasing concerns over the euro zone debt crisis. Today during trading hours, the EIA will release its U.S. crude oil inventories report for the weekended May 25. Analysts expect crude oil inventories to gain by 100,000 barrels and gasoline stocks to remain unchanged last week. Crude for July edged down $0.54 to $87.28 a barrel.
The price of gold little changed Thursday morning on bargain hunting, despite lingering concerns over Spain's banking system, a surge in Italian borrowing costs and Greek elections. Gold for August eased $2.80 to $1,562.90.
In corporate news from Canada, CIBC (CM.TO) posted higher second-quarter net income of C$811 million or C$1.90 per share compared with C$767 million or C$1.80 per share last year. Adjusted earnings per share grew to C$2.00 from C$1.83 a year ago. Analysts were expecting the bank to report earnings of C$1.88 per share this quarter .
Industrial machinery dealer CE Franklin Ltd. (CFT.TO) said it would be acquired by NOV Distribution Services ULC, an unit of oil and gas equipment and services company National Oilwell Varco Inc. (NOV) for consideration of C$12.75 in cash per common share. The stock closed Wednesday's session at C$9.350.
Gaming software maker Amaya Gaming Group Inc.(AYA.V) announced that it has extended its buyout offered for CryptoLogic Ltd. (CRY.TO) until 5.00 p.m. London time on 25 June 2012, unless otherwise extended. In December 2011, Amaya Gaming Group has said it offered to buy CryptoLogic for $2.50 per share, estimated to total about $34.5 million.
Information technology services provider CGI Group Inc. (GIB_A.TO) said its wholly owned unit CGI Holdings Europe Limited would acquire Logica plc (LOG.L). Logica Shareholders would be entitled to receive 105 pence in cash per Logica Share. The purchase price represents a premium of about 59.8 percent to the latest closing price per Logica Share of 65.70 pence
Logistics technology solutions provider Descartes Systems Group (DSG.TO) said its first quarter profit was up to $2.61 million or $0.04 per share from the prior year's $2.15 million or $0.03 per share.
China Green Star Agricultural Corp. (GRE.V) reported first-quarter profit of C$2.5 million, up from C$1.9 million in the same period last year.
In economic news Statistics Canada said the nation's current account deficit, on a seasonally adjusted basis, expanded by $0.6 billion to $10.3 billion in the first quarter, as a lower surplus on goods was partly offset by a lower deficit on investment income. Total exports of goods declined $1.3 billion to $120.2 billion, while imports of goods remained largely unchanged at $117.8 billion in the first quarter
From south of the border, the ADP said private sector employment rose by 133,000 jobs in May following a downwardly revised increase of 113,000 jobs in April. Economists had expected an increase of about 154,000 jobs compared to the addition of 119,000 jobs originally reported for the previous month.
Separately, the Labor Department said new unemployment claims came in at a seasonally adjusted level of 383,000 for the week ending May 26, up 10,000 from the previous week's revised level of 373,000. The initial unemployment claims level was higher than the predictions of most economists who had expected new claims to hold steady at the 370,000 level initially reported for the previous week.
A report from the U.S. Commerce Department showed that GDP increased at an annual rate of 1.9 percent in the first quarter compared to the initial estimate of 2.2 percent growth. The downward revision to the pace of growth came in line with expectations.
Elsewhere, euro zone inflation slowed more than expected in May, flash estimates from Eurostat showed. Annual inflation fell to 2.4 percent from 2.6 percent in April. The rate was slightly below the expected rate of 2.5 percent. Nonetheless, inflation continues to stay above the European Central Bank's 'below, but close to 2 percent' target.
Data released by the Federal Statistics Office showed that Germany's retail sales increased at a slower pace in April, but the rate of growth exceeded economists' forecast. Separately, the agency said unemployment rate in Germany declined marginally in April. The adjusted unemployment rate fell to 5.4 percent in April from 5.5 percent in March. In April last year, the rate was 6.1 percen
by RTT Staff Writer
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