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Commodities May Lift TSX At Open Monday - Canadian Commentary


Canadian stocks may edge up at open Monday amid a rebound in commodities and on mixed cues from the global equity markets. While most Asian markets settled higher overnight on rising factory output in China and better-than-expected U.S. hiring, European shares were lingering in the red as Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti's decision to resign escalated concerns over the euro zone economy.

Meanwhile, Canadian government approved China's CNOOC Limited (CEO) $15.1 billion takeover of Canadian energy firm Nexen Inc. (NXY.TO). The government also approved Malaysian state-owned oil firm Petronas' $5.2 billion bid for Progress Energy Corp. (PRQ.TO).

China reported that factory output moved up 10.1 percent from a year earlier in November, while the inflation rate rose to 2 percent, slightly below the projected 2.1 percent.

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

On Friday, the S&P/TSX Composite Index edged up 8.65 points or 0.07 percent to 12,159.77.

The price of crude oil was recovering from its three-week low Monday morning after China reported healthy demand for oil. Data over the weekend revealed that China's refinery runs rose 9.1 percent to 10.125 million bpd from a year earlier. Meanwhile, China's factory output and retail sales jumped in November as consumer inflation rebounded from a 33-month low.

Crude for January added $0.67 to $86.60 a barrel.

Th price of gold was moving higher Monday morning as the U.S. dollar was paring recent gains ahead of the outcome of a Fed meeting on Tuesday and Wednesday. Gold for February gained $12.60 to $1,718.10 an ounce.

In corporate news from Canada, contemporary fashion apparel retailer Le Chateau Inc. (CTU_A.TO) reported a narrower third quarter net loss of C$3.6 million or C$0.14 per share compared to a net loss of C$4.1 million or C$0.17 per share the previous year.

Gold miner Argonaut Gold Inc. (AR.TO) announced that it has received final court approval of plan of arrangement to acquire Prodigy Gold Inc (PDG.V).

In economic news, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation said the seasonally adjusted annual rates of housing starts came in at 196,125 units in November, down from 203,487 in October. Housing starts remained below their recent trend and continued to fall for a third straight month. This decrease was mainly attributable to declines in single-detached and multi-unit housing construction in Ontario and British Columbia.

Elsewhere, Germany's exports rose unexpectedly in October, rebounding from the previous month's drop, on demand from outside Europe. Exports grew by 0.3 percent in October from September, Destatis reported. Economists had forecast shipments to fall 0.3 percent following last month's 2.4 percent drop.

Meanwhile, euro zone investor confidence increased for a fourth consecutive month in December, data released by the think-tank Sentix showed. The Sentix Index rose to -16.8 in December from -18.8 in November and -22.2 in October. Economists had forecast an increase in the reading to -16.

by RTTNews Staff Writer

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