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Commodities, Nexen Lift TSX Tuesday Morning - Canadian Commentary


Canadian stocks were moving higher Tuesday morning amid varied cues from the commodities and global equity markets after North Korea confirmed it has successfully conducted a third nuclear test that Pyongyang had pledged to conduct. South Korea has raised its military alert in the wake of the suspected nuclear test.

Meanwhile, Moody's Investors Service said the downside risks to the global economic recovery have diminished since the end of last year, but a slow pace of economic growth is still likely in many economies.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index gained 48.34 points or 0.38 percent to 12,796.49.

The price of crude oil was extending gains Tuesday morning amid escalating tension in the Middle East following Iran's nuclear programme, and North Korea's third nuclear test. Meanwhile, the OPEC in its monthly oil market report nudged up 2013 global oil demand growth forecast to 0.80 mbd.

In its monthly Oil Market Report released Tuesday, the OPEC revised up 2013 world oil demand by 80,000 barrels per day to 0.80 mbd, with bulk of the growth seen coming from China, which is forecast to increase by 0.4 mbd. However, the cartel expects OECD demand to contract 0.3 mbd.

Today after the market hours, the API will release its US crude oil inventories report for the weekended February 08.

Crude for March delivery added $0.59 to $97.62 a barrel.

In the oil patch, Nexen Inc. (NXY.TO) gained 2 percent after announcing that it has received approval from the Committee on Foreign Investment in the US (CFIUS) with respect to the proposed acquisition of Nexen by CNOOC Limited, and now has all of the requisite approvals to proceed to close.

On the other hand, energy infrastructure company TransCanada Corp. (TRP.TO) lost over 1 percent after posting lower fourth-quarter 2012 net income of C$306 million or C$0.43 per share versus the prior year's C$376 million or C$0.53 per share.

The price of gold was little changed Tuesday morning as G20 finance ministers and central bankers gather in Moscow this week, bracing for currency war talks. Gold for April edged up $1.10 to $1,650.20 an ounce.

Among gold plays, Royal Gold (RGL.TO) was up over 3 percent. Barrick Gold (ABX.TO) and Detour Gold (DGC.TO) moved up about 1 percent each.

Commercial and industrial machinery and equipment company Toromont Industries (TIH.TO) gained over 4 percent after reporting improved fourth-quarter net earnings at C$44.9 million or C$0.59 per share compared to C$34.2 million or C$0.44 per share in the year ago quarter.

Paper products company Resolute Forest Products (RFP.TO) rose over 3 percent after reporting a wider fourth-quarter net loss of $36 million or $0.38 per share compared to a net loss of $6 million or $0.06 per share last year. Excluding special items of $70 million net income was $34 million or $0.35 per share. Analysts expected the company to report profit of $0.21 per share for the quarter.

Meanwhile, fertilizer makers Potash Corp. (POT.TO) and Agrium Inc. (AGU.TO) slipped nearly 1 percent each.

In economic news from the euro zone, U.K. inflation has been at 2.7 percent since October, the Office for National Statistics reported. This was the longest period for which consumer price growth has remained unchanged, it said. The rate continues to hover above the central bank's 2 percent target.

Separately, the statistics office said UK output price inflation eased to 2 percent in January from 2.2 percent in December. On a monthly basis, the output price index rose 0.2 percent. Both the figures matched economists' forecasts.

by RTTNews Staff Writer

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