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Canadian Stocks Are Bouncing Back On Broad Strength - Canadian Commentary

The Canadian stock market is climbing in early trade Thursday, attempting to rebound from the losses earlier this week. The majority of the Canadian sectors are trading in the green this morning, with healthcare, energy and industrial stocks among the top performers.

Markets in Europe are turning in a mixed performance Thursday after paring early gains.

Markets on Wall Street are up slightly in early trade Thursday. Traders remain in a cautious mood ahead of tomorrow's jobs report. Lingering uncertainty about the final Republican tax reform bill is also weighing on investor sentiment.

The benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index is up 97.73 points or 0.61 percent at 16,006.51.

On Wednesday, the index closed down 5.05 points or 0.03 percent, at 15,910.63. The index scaled an intraday high of 15,992.15 and a low of 15,853.07.

The Capped Healthcare Index is higher by 1.49 percent. Concordia International (CXR.TO) is climbing 3.03 percent and Valeant Pharmaceuticals International (VRX.TO) is rising 3.72 percent. Extendicare (EXE.TO) is adding 0.11 percent.

The Capped Information Technology Index is gaining 1.03 percent. Constellation Software (CSU.TO) is advancing 0.90 percent and Descartes Systems Group (DSG.TO) is adding 0.56 percent. Blackberry (BB.TO) is rising 1.53 percent and Sierra Wireless (SW.TO) is up 0.77 percent.

The Capped Industrials Index is up 1.01 percent. Canadian Pacific Railway (CP.TO) is gaining 1.91 percent and Canadian National Railway (CNR.TO) is rising 0.85 percent. WestJet Airlines (WJA.TO) is higher by 3.83 percent and Air Canada (AC.TO) is adding 1.01 percent. Finning International (FTT.TO) is climbing 0.93 percent and Bombardier (BBD-B.TO) is advancing 0.79 percent.

The Energy Index is rising 0.96 percent. Crude oil prices steadied Thursday morning after big losses earlier in the week.

Encana (ECA.TO) is climbing 2.45 percent and Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO) is up 1.13 percent. Crescent Point Energy (CPG.TO) is gaining 0.56 percent and Cenovus Energy (CVE.TO) is adding 1.85 percent. Suncor Energy (SU.TO) is higher by 1.01 percent and Enbridge (ENB.TO) is rising 0.78 percent. Husky Energy (HSE.TO) is increasing 0.70 percent.

The Capped Materials Index is up 0.47 percent. Agnico Eagle Mines (AEM.TO) is climbing 1.26 percent and Franco-Nevada (FNV.TO) is rising 0.31 percent. Agrium (AGU.TO) is gaining 0.25 percent and Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan (POT.TO) is increasing 0.34 percent.

The heavyweight Financial Index is increasing 0.41 percent. Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO) is gaining 0.51 percent and Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO) is rising 0.01 percent. Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CM.TO) is climbing 0.47 percent and Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS.TO) is advancing 0.61 percent. Bank of Montreal (BMO.TO) is up 0.24 percent and National Bank of Canada (NA.TO) is higher by 0.39 percent.

The Gold Index is increasing 0.43 percent. Gold prices continue to fall Thursday morning, dropping to over a 4-month low ahead of tomorrow's crucial U.S. jobs report.

Eldorado Gold (ELD.TO) is climbing 2.82 percent and Goldcorp (G.TO) is adding 0.32 percent. Barrick Gold (ABX.TO) is rising 1.44 percent.

The Capped Telecommunication Services Index is up 0.64 percent. TELUS (T.TO) is rising 1.02 percent and BCE (BCE.TO) is gaining 0.52 percent. Rogers Communications (RCI-B.TO) is climbing 0.11 percent.

CanniMed Therapeutics Inc. (CMED.TO) is climbing 3.77 percent. The company says it has entered into a definitive agreement with PharmaChoice to supply cannabis products across Canada. CMED is the subject of a hostile takeover offer by Aurora Cannabis Inc. (ACB.TO).

Kinder Morgan (KML.TO) has sold shares to help fund the Trans Mountain pipeline plan. Shares are rising 0.36 percent.

On the economic front, Canadian municipalities issued $8.2 billion worth of building permits in October, up 3.5% from the previous month, Stats Canada said.

The euro area economy expanded, as initially estimated, in the third quarter largely on investment and exports, Eurostat reported Thursday. Gross domestic product grew 0.6 percent sequentially, slightly slower than the 0.7 percent expansion seen in the second quarter. The rate came in line with the estimate released on November 14.

Germany's industrial production dropped unexpectedly in October driven by weakness across major sectors except energy.

Industrial production fell 1.4 percent month-on-month in October, following a revised 0.9 percent drop in September, data from Destatis showed Thursday. This was the second straight decline in output. Production was forecast to grow 0.9 percent.

The French trade gap widened in October from a month earlier, the customs office reported Thursday. The trade deficit rose to EUR 5.0 billion in October from EUR 4.6 billion in September. The deficit was forecast to increase to 4.7 billion.

The French current account gap narrowed in October from a month earlier, data from the Bank of France showed Thursday. The current account deficit fell to EUR 2.2 billion in October from EUR 3.3 billion in September.

UK house prices increased more than expected in November, data published by the mortgage lender Halifax and IHS Markit showed Thursday.

On a monthly basis, house prices increased 0.5 percent, faster than the 0.3 percent rise posted in October. This was the fifth consecutive increase. Prices were forecast to grow marginally by 0.2 percent.

A day ahead of the release of the closely watched monthly jobs report, the Labor Department released a report on Thursday unexpectedly showing a modest decrease in first-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits in the week ended December 2nd.

The report said initial jobless claims edged down to 236,000, a decrease of 2,000 from the previous week's unrevised level of 238,000. The drop surprised economists, who had expected jobless claims to inch up to 240,000.

In commodities, crude oil futures for January delivery are up 0.51 or 0.91 percent at $56.47 a barrel.

Natural gas for January is down 0.138 or 4.72 percent at $2.784 per million btu.

Gold futures for February are down 9.90 or 0.78 percent at $1,256.20 an ounce.

Silver for March is down 0.145 or 0.91 percent at $15.81 an ounce.

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