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Stocks May Grind Higher -- Canadian Commentary

Early signals are pointing to modest gains at the opening bell Tuesday morning in Toronto.

In economic news, Canadian industries operated at 86.0% of their production capacity in the fourth quarter, up from 85.1% the previous quarter. This was the sixth consecutive quarterly increase.

Traders also considered another tame U.S. inflation report.

The annualized rate of core inflation was up only 1.8%, once again short of the Federal Reserve's 2% target. The Fed is therefore expected to raise interest rates only three times this year.

Loblaw Companies (L.TO) and Imperial Oil (IMO.TO) have signed a deal that will allow PC Optimum members to earn points at Esso gas stations.

Aphria Inc. (APH.TO) announced that the Company received a license amendment from Health Canada that provides Aphria with additional production space of 200,000 square feet.

Crude oil futures were lower Tuesday morning ahead of U.S. oil inventories data.

The American Petroleum Institute is out with its weekly report this afternoon, followed by the government's data Wednesday morning.

U.S. oil inventories have been rising over the past few weeks, putting a cap on oil prices.

WTI light sweet crude oil was down 50 cents at $60.87 a barrel.

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