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TSX Poised For Flat Open - Canadian Commentary


Canadian stocks are poised for a mixed open Wednesday amid hopes of economic recovery in the U.S. and on easing concerns over Cyprus. The International Monetary Fund will contribute 1 billion euros over three years to the 10 billion euro bailout for Cyprus, IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde said in a statement earlier today.

Meanwhile, Haris Georgiades was sworn in as Cyprus' new finance minister after Michalis Sarris quit the post to facilitate an inquiry into what led the Mediterranean Island to the brink of bankruptcy.

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

On Tuesday, the S&P/TSX Composite Index extended losses for a second session, slipping 13.04 points or 0.10 percent to 12,682.10.

The price of crude oil oil was moving lower Wednesday morning as traders await more clarity on the inventories situation from the EIA's weekly oil report, due out later during the session. Today during trading hours, the EIA will release its U.S. crude oil inventories report for the weekended March 29. Analysts expect US crude oil inventories to add 2.1 million barrels last week Crude for May slipped $0.59 to $96.60 a barrel.

The price of gold was extending losses Wednesday morning as the yellow metal was losing its safe haven appeal amid hopes of economic recovery in the U.S. and on easing concerns over Cyprus. Gold for June delivery shed $3.20 to $1,572.70 an ounce.

In corporate news from Canada, lender Toronto-Dominion Bank or TD Bank Group (TD, TD.TO) announced that its President and Chief Executive Officer Ed Clark will retire on November 1, 2014 at age 67, after 12 years as CEO. He will remain as a Director until TD's 2015 Annual Meeting.

Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO, RY) reported acquiring the Athena Energy Group, a natural gas supplier in Quebec, for undisclosed terms.

Drug maker Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. (VRX, VRX.TO) increased its offer to acquire Obagi Medical Products Inc. (OMPI) to $24.00 per share from $19.75 per share in cash. Yesterday, Merz Pharma Group announced a sweetened proposal to acquire all of the outstanding common stock of Obagi Medical Products Inc. (OMPI) for $22 per share in cash.

Absolute Software Corp. (ABT.TO) announced it has entered into a global partnership with Samsung Electronics. Under the partnership, Samsung will embed patented Absolute persistence technology into the firmware of Samsung GALAXY mobile devices as a feature of Samsung KNOX, which will be launched later this year.

In economic news from the U.S., a report released by payroll processor Automatic Data Processing, Inc. (ADP)revealed private sector employment increased by 158,000 jobs in March compared to economist estimates for an increase of about 205,000 jobs. While the report also showed that the private sector job growth for February was upwardly revised to 237,000 from 198,000, the job growth for January was downwardly revised to 177,000 from 215,000.

Elsewhere, inflation in the euro area decelerated for the third consecutive month in March, but to a lesser extend than forecast by economists, as energy prices increased at a significantly slower pace, initial estimates showed. The harmonized index of consumer prices increased 1.7 percent year-on-year in March after growing 1.8 percent in February. Economists had forecast a quicker slowdown to 1.6 percent. The rate of growth weakened for the third month in a row.

by RTTNews Staff Writer

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