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TSX Unable To Sustain Direction, French Vote Looms -- Canadian Commentary

Markets are on edge Friday morning ahead of a crucial election in France that is seen as a referendum on the European Union.

France, one of the main engines of the EU, is poised to make nationalist stalwart Marine Le Pen a finalist for the presidency.

Closer to home, Ontario has unveiled 16 new housing measures, including a 15% non-resident speculation tax in hopes of preventing a destructive bubble in metro Toronto.

Yesterday, the TSX Composite Index was up 72.69 points to 15,625.56, led by banks and industrials after strong earnings from CP Rail (CP.TO). Stocks have bounced back and forth of late, with mid-week losses sandwiched around nice gains.

WTI light sweet crude oil was down 7 cents at $50.28 a barrel.

In corporate news, Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, Inc. (VRX, VRX.TO) has priced its psoriasis injection at $3,500 per month.

SNC-Lavalin Group (SNC.TO) is buying WS Atkins plc (ATK.L) for C$3.6 billion.

A labradoodle named Cooper was put on a WestJet (WJA.TO) plane to Hamilton instead of Newfoundland by mistake.

by RTT Staff Writer

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