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Oil, Manulife Should Lead Canadian Stocks Higher -- Canadian Commentary

Canadian stocks may rise Friday morning along with commodity prices, but gains may be tempered by signs the Bank of Canada will again rise interest rates in the next few months.

The BoC rattled markets earlier this week by hiking rates for the first time in seven years and signaling more to come.

Still, rising oil prices could propel the broader market higher to end the week.

Traders may be paying attention to mixed corporate earnings results in the U.S. where JP Morgan and Citigroup beat estimates but Wells Fargo fell short on revenues.

Canada's Manulife Financial (MFC.TO) is exploring a possible initial public offering or spinoff of its Boston-based John Hancock Financial Services Inc. unit, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the plans.

The planned move comes amid ongoing struggles for life insurers with low interest rates that dampen investment profits.

Crude oil was up 52 cents at $46.59 a barrel, moving well away from June's yearly low.

Baker Hughes will release its weekly crude oil rig count this afternoon.

U.S. consumer prices rose 1.7% year over year in June, up from last month's 1.6% increase. U.S. retail sales dropped unexpectedly for second straight month.

by RTTNews Staff Writer

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