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TSX May Struggle To Sustain Recent Gains - Canadian Commentary


Canadian stocks may struggle to sustain recent gains at open Friday as commodities faltered after faster than expected inflation data from China raised demand concerns from the commodity hungry nation.

Meanwhile, Japan approved a fresh round of stimulus spending worth 10.3 trillion yen to jump-start the flagging economy. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said the measures would include spending on public works, disaster prevention and financial aid for small firms. He said the new measures would add 2 percentage points to the gross domestic product and create about 600,000 jobs.

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

On Thursday, the S&P/TSX Composite Index extended gains for a third sessions, adding 77.50 points or 0.62 percent to 12,599.74.

The price of crude oil was moving lower Friday morning after inflation data from China raised demand concerns from the commodity hungry nation. The consumer price index in China rose 2.5 percent year-on-year in December, the fastest pace since May. Economists expected the rate of inflation to increase to a more modest 2.3 percent. The freezing weather and the approaching 'Spring Festival' stoked prices of fresh food.

Crude for February shed $0.47 to $93.35 a barrel

The price of gold was paring recent gains Friday morning as traders preferred to book profits amid a generally steady US dollar. Gold for February was down $4.10 to $1,673.90 an ounce.

In corporate news from Canada, Leucadia National Corp. (LUK) announced that it would intend to tender the common shares of Inmet Mining Corp.(IMN.TO) to the take-over bid that has been made by First Quantum Minerals (FM.TO). Leucadia said it own 11.04 million or approximately 15.92 percent of the outstanding common shares of Inmet

In economic news, Statistics Canada said merchandise imports rose 2.7 percent in November, while exports decreased 0.9 percent. As a result, Canada's trade deficit with the world widened from $552 million in October to $2.0 billion in November. Economists were expecting $0.60 billion deficit.

From the U.S., the Commerce Department said that the trade deficit widened to $48.7 billion in November from a revised $42.1 billion in October. The wider deficit surprised economists, who had expected the deficit to narrow to $41.1 billion from the $42.2 billion deficit originally reported for the previous month.

From the euro zone, U.K. industrial production recovered in November, underpinned by robust mining output, the Office for National Statistics showed. Industrial output rose 0.3 percent month-on-month, reversing last month's 0.9 percent fall. Nonetheless, the rate of growth was smaller than the 0.8 percent rise forecast by economists.

Meanwhile, Switzerland's consumer prices slipped 0.4 percent year-on-year in December, the same rate of fall as seen in November, the Federal Statistical Office showed. Prices were forecast to ease 0.3 percent.

by RTTNews Staff Writer

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