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TSX Crawls Higher, Led By Commodities -- Canadian Commentary

Canadian stocks nudged higher Friday, snapping out of a recent funk thanks to higher commodity prices.

The TSX was up 39.81 points, or 0.26 percent, to 15,174.81.

August West Texas Intermediate crude rose 46 cents, or 1%, to settle at $46.54 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange for the session. Prices surged more than 5% this week.

Gold futures rose Friday, extending weekly gains amid a flurry of downbeat economic news.

August gold gained $10.20, or 0.8%, to settle at $1,227.50/oz. Gold added 1.6 percent for the week, moving away from 4-month lows. Silver was up nearly 3 percent.

U.S. retail sales unexpectedly decreased for the second consecutive month in June. The Commerce Department said retail sales fell by 0.2 percent in June after edging down by a revised 0.1 percent in May.

The U.S. consumer price index was flat in June after edging down by 0.1 percent in May. Economists had expected consumer prices to inch up by 0.1 percent.

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. Shares were flat today.

Canadian regulators ruled that Chinese timber company Sino-Forest Corp. and four of the company's former top officials engaged in fraud to mislead investors.

by RTT Staff Writer

For comments and feedback: editorial@rttnews.com

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