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Canadian Stocks Are Climbing On Broad Strength - Canadian Commentary

The Canadian stock market is rising in early trade Tuesday, extending the gains from the previous session. Traders are reacting to a rather tame U.S. inflation report this morning. The data has investors thinking that the Federal Reserve will likely only be able to raise rates three times this year.

Markets in Europe got off to a positive start Tuesday, but have since pared their gains. The majority of the European markets have now slipped into negative territory.

Markets on Wall Street are trading modestly to the upside Tuesday morning. The Labor Department released a report showing a modest increase in consumer prices in the month of February this morning. The 0.2 percent increase was in line with analysts' expectations.

Traders have also taken the news that President Donald Trump plans to replace Secretary of State Rex Tillerson with CIA Director Mike Pompeo in stride.

The benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index is up 102.06 points or 0.65 percent at 15,706.85.

On Monday, the index closed up 26.98 points or 0.17 percent, at 15,604.79. The index scaled an intraday high of 15,628.10 and a low of 15,548.96.

The Energy Index is rising 0.85 percent. Crude oil prices are inching higher Tuesday morning ahead of U.S. oil inventory data.

Imperial Oil (IMO.TO) is increasing 0.63 percent and Encana (ECA.TO) is climbing 1.08 percent. Husky Energy (HSE.TO) is advancing 0.83 percent and Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO) is rising 0.65 percent. Crescent Point Energy (CPG.TO) is gaining 2.28 percent and Cenovus Energy (CVE.TO) is adding 0.19 percent. Suncor Energy (SU.TO) is up 1.25 percent and Enbridge (ENB.TO) is higher by 1.10 percent.

The Capped Industrials Index is up 0.44 percent. Canadian National Railway (CNR.TO) is rising 0.52 percent and Canadian Pacific Railway (CP.TO) is adding 0.75 percent. Air Canada (AC.TO) is increasing 0.84 percent and Finning International (FTT.TO) is climbing 1.44 percent. WestJet Airlines (WJA.TO) is gaining 1.45 percent.

The Capped Materials Index is up 0.72 percent. Franco-Nevada (FNV.TO) is gaining 0.82 percent and Agnico Eagle Mines (AEM.TO) is adding 0.28 percent. Nutrien (NTR.TO) is rising 0.94 percent.

The Capped Information Technology Index is gaining 0.60 percent. BlackBerry (BB.TO) is rising 0.67 percent and Descartes Systems Group (DSG.TO) is adding 0.16 percent.

The heavyweight Financial Index is increasing 0.50 percent. Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CM.TO) is gaining 0.62 percent and Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO) is up 0.60 percent. Bank of Montreal (BMO.TO) is advancing 0.48 percent and Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS.TO) is climbing 0.72 percent. National Bank of Canada (NA.TO) is adding 0.55 percent and Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO) is rising 0.29 percent.

The Capped Telecommunication Services Index is up 0.55 percent. BCE (BCE.TO) is climbing 0.63 percent and TELUS (T.TO) is rising 0.24 percent. Rogers Communications (RCi-B.TO) is higher by 0.74 percent.

The Capped Healthcare Index is higher by 0.64 percent. Valeant Pharmaceuticals International (VRX.TO) is increasing 2.12 percent and Concordia International (CXR.TO) is gaining 4 percent. ProMetic Life Sciences (PLI.TO) is up 1.68 percent and Extendicare (EXE.TO) is adding 0.45 percent.

The Gold Index is increasing 0.55 percent. Gold prices are little changed Tuesday morning, following the release of tepid U.S. inflation data.

Kinross Gold (K.TO) is gaining 0.65 percent and Goldcorp (G.TO) is up 0.41 percent. Barrick Gold (ABX.TO) is increasing 1.15 percent.

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. Loblaw is up 0.40 percent.

Aphria Inc. (APH.TO) is gaining 1.12 percent after it announced that it has received a license amendment from Health Canada that provides Aphria with additional production space of 200,000 square feet.

On the economic front, 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.

France's payroll employment increased in the fourth quarter, the statistical office Insee reported Tuesday. Net payroll job creation reached 72,700. Job creation grew 0.3 percent after rising 0.2 percent in the previous quarter.

A report released by the Labor Department on Tuesday showed consumer prices in the U.S. increased in line with economist estimates in the month of February. The Labor Department said its consumer price index rose by 0.2 percent in February after climbing by 0.5 percent in January. Economists had expected consumer prices to rise by 0.2 percent.

In commodities, crude oil futures for April delivery are up 0.35 or 0.57 percent at $61.71 a barrel.

Natural gas for April is up 0.003 or 0.11 percent at $2.781 per million btu.

Gold futures for April are up 5.20 or 0.39 percent at $1,326.00 an ounce.

Silver for May is up 0.059 or 0.36 percent at $16.595 an ounce.

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