Canadian stocks may struggle for direction at open Wednesday amid mixed cues from the commodities and equity markets. Also, traders might turn cautious ahead of the weekend Greek elections and the OPEC's meeting to decide on the crude oil output levels.
However, stock-specific movements are not ruled out during the session amid a mixed batch of corporate earnings reports.
U.S. stock futures were pointing to a lower open.
On Tuesday, the S&P/TSX Composite Index snapped its three-session losing streak to add 95.51 points or 0.84 percent to 11,497.30.
The price of crude oil was little changed Wednesday morning as traders await cues from the outcome of the meeting this week of the producer group OPEC. Earlier today, the IEA, in its monthly Oil Market Report, nudged down its 2012 oil demand growth forecast to 89.90 mbd, citing uncertainty over summer power sector oil demand and non-OECD stockpiling. Today during trading hours, the EIA will release its U.S. crude oil inventories report for the weekended June 08. Analysts expect crude oil inventories to decline by 1.4 million barrels and gasoline stocks are expected to rise by 1.1 million barrels last week. Crude for July edged down $0.69 to $82.63 a barrel.
The price of gold was ticking higher Wednesday morning amid a mixed U.S. dollar and on lingering worries over the euro zone financial situation. Gold for August was up $9.40 to $1,623.20 an ounce.
In corporate news from Canada, Dollarama Inc. (DOL.TO) posted improved first quarter net earnings of C$42.58 million or C$0.56 per share compared to last year's C$30.42 million or C$0.40 per share. Analysts were expecting the company to report earnings of C$0.50 per share.
Oil and gas company Enerplus Corp. (ERF.TO) reiterated production growth targets for 2012 as it expects to deliver 10 percent organic production growth through a capital spending program designed to increase crude oil production significantly.
Pharmaceutical company Patheon Inc. (PTI.TO) posted a wider second-quarter net loss of $79.7 million or $0.617 per share versus loss of $10.4 million or $0.081 per share last year. The company lifted its full year 2012 revenue forecast and expects the same to be in excess of $725 million.
Drug manufacturer Cangene Corp. (CNJ.TO) reported a wider third-quarter net loss of $4.58 million or $0.07 per share compared to a loss of $1.39 million or $0.02 per share last year.
Corporate restaurants operator Imvescor Restaurant Group (IRG.TO) reported a second-quarter net loss of C$1.2 million, wider than the net loss of C$0.6 million in the same period last year.
Information technology company Mediagrif Interactive Technologies (MDF.TO) reported improved net income for the fourth quarter of C$2.6 million or C$0.19 per share, compared to C$1.9 million or C$0.14 per share for the year-ago quarter. The company said its Board of Directors has approved a 13 percent dividend increase at C$0.09 per share.
In economic news from the U.S., the Commerce Department said retail sales edged down by 0.2 percent in May, matching the revised decrease seen in April. Economists had expected sales to dip by 0.2 percent compared to the 0.1 percent increase originally reported for the previous month. Excluding a 0.8 percent increase in sales by motor vehicle and parts dealers, retail sales fell by 0.4 percent in May compared to a 0.3 percent decrease in April. Economists had expected ex-auto sales to come in roughly flat.
Elsewhere, the euro zone industrial production declined in April, at a slower than expected pace, data from Eurostat showed. Industrial production logged a monthly fall of 0.8 percent in April after easing 0.1 percent in March. The decline was smaller than economists' expectations for a 1.2 percent drop.
Meanwhile, Germany's harmonized consumer prices rose more than initially estimated in May, final data from the Federal Statistical Office revealed. EU harmonized inflation came in at 2.2 percent in May, revised up from the prior estimate of 2.1 percent. The rate was thus unchanged from the 2.2 percent seen in April.
by RTT Staff Writer
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