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TSX Poised For Lower Open - Canadian Commentary


Canadian stocks are poised for a lower open Friday as commodities were struggling to move higher, with traders focusing their attention to the developments surrounding the U.S, fiscal cliff negotiations. U.S. President Barack Obama and Republicans are expected to have another round of discussions to break the deadlock on the budget negotiations.

U.S. stock futures were pointing to a sharply lower open.

On Thursday, the S&P/TSX Composite Index edged up 2.97 points or 0.02 percent to 12,373.77.

The price of crude oil was moving higher Friday morning as traders await cues from the official inventories data. Today during trading hours, the EIA will release its U.S. crude oil inventories report for the weekended December 21. Analysts expect crude oil inventories to decline by 1.9 million barrels and gasoline stocks to gain by 0.5 million barrels last week. Crude for February added $0.20 to $91.07 abarrel

The price of gold was moving lower Friday morning as the US dollar was steady versus a basket of currencies amid hopes of US budget talks. Gold for February edged down $4.60 to $1,659.10 an ounce.

In corporate news from Canada, Aeterna Zentaris Inc. (AEZ.TO) has signed an agreement with the U.S. FDA on a Special Protocol Assessment for an upcoming Phase 3 registration trial in endometrial cancer with its doxorubicin peptide conjugate, AEZS-108.

Equipment leasing and finance company Element Financial Corp. (EFN.TO) announced that it would acquire Nexcap Finance Corporation for about $20 million.

In economic news from the euro zone, French consumer spending recorded surprise improvement in November, data from the statistical office Insee showed. The overall consumer spending was up 0.2 percent month-on-month in November, after a revised 0.1 percent fall in the previous month. Economists expected spending to remain unchanged.

A separate report from the Insee showed that the French economy expanded only 0.1 percent in the third quarter from the prior quarter. The third quarter growth was downgraded from 0.2 percent and follows a 0.1 percent fall in the second quarter.

Among a slew of economic reports released from Japan, the consumer price inflation report showed that Japanese core consumer prices fell 0.1 percent year-over-year in November. Core consumer prices for Tokyo considered a leading indicator for Japan declined a steeper 0.5 percent.

Traders will look to the report on pending home sales from the National Association of Realtors, due out at 10 a.m. ET. Economists expect the reading to come in at 1.0 percent for the month of August, down from last months 5.2 percent.

by RTTNews Staff Writer

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