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Bay Street Seen Opening On Negative Note

Canadian shares look headed for a gap down opening on Thursday, tracking losses in Asian and European markets, amid worries about U.S.-China trade conflicts and concerns over global economic growth.

U.S. and Canadian futures are down amid renewed concerns about U.S.-China trade tensions. Crude oil's sharp slide is set to trigger some heavy selling in the energy space.

The arrest of the chief financial office of Huawei Technologies, Meng Wanzhou in Canada, has sparked worries that trade tensions between the U.S. and China may not get resolved anytime soon. She faces extradition to the United States.

Canadian Justice Department spokesman Ian McLeod, Huawei CFO was apprehended in Vancouver on December 1 and that a bail hearing has been set for Friday.

The Chinese Embassy in Canada has stated "the Chinese side firmly opposes and strongly protests over such kind of actions which seriously harmed the human rights of the victim. The Chinese side has lodged stern representations with the US and Canadian side, and urged them to immediately correct the wrongdoing and restore the personal freedom of Ms. Meng Wanzhou."

Chinese officials are demanding the release of the arrested official. Foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told reporters Thursday that the Chinese government also wants Canadian officials to reveal the reasoning behind Meng Wanzhou's arrest Saturday.

The market will also react to some key economic data from the U.S. and a report on Canadian imports.

Data on Canadian imports for the month of October, is due at 8:30 AM ET.

On Wednesday, the benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index ended up 119.05 points, or 0.79%, at 15,182.64. The index scaled a low of 15,122.62 and a high of 15,253.77 in the session.

Bombardier (BBD.B.TO) announced that it is targeting revenues of $18 billion or more, representing a year-over-year increase of approximately 10% over 2018 guidance. EBITDA before special items is targeted to grow by approximately 30% over 2018 guidance to a range of $1.65 billion to $1.80 billion. On a normalized basis, before one-time items, Bombardier estimates free cash flow in a range of $250 million to $500 million for 2019.

ATS Automation Tooling Systems Inc. (ATA.TO) has announced that it has acquired substantially all of the intellectual property assets of Transformix Engineering Inc. for a total consideration of $10 million.

Canadian Western Bank (CWB.TO) has announced that its Board of Directors has declared a quarterly cash dividend of $0.26 per common share. This quarterly dividend is consistent with the prior quarter and 8% higher than the dividend declared one year ago.

Dollarama Inc. (DOL.TO) reported that its diluted net earnings per common share rose 7.9% to $0.41 in the third quarter of its current financial year, over the year-ago quarter.

Canopy Growth Corporation (WEED.TO) said that the company has finalized an all-cash transaction to acquire Storz & Bickel GmbH & Co. KG, related entities, and IP (collectively, "Storz & Bickel" or "S&B") for a purchase price of up to approximately €145 million. Storz & Bickel is widely recognized as the global leader in vaporizer design and manufacturing.

Asian markets tumbled on Thursday and most of the markets in Europe were drifting lower as well, with the arrest of a senior Huawei executive over potential violation of U.S. sanctions on Iran raising questions about the Trump administration's overall China strategy.

Among other factors to weigh on sentiment were the sharp drop in U.S. 10-year Treasury yields, Brexit uncertainty and caution ahead of the crucial OPEC meet.

In economic news from Europe, Germany's manufacturing orders increased for a third straight month in October, defying expectations for a decline, preliminary data showed. Factory orders grew 0.3 percent from September, while economists had forecast a 0.4% fall. September's 0.3% gain was revised to a 0.1% increase.

The ADP payrolls data is due at 8:15 AM ET and the weekly jobless claims report is due out at 8:30 AM ET.

ISM services activity report is due for release at 10 AM ET.

In commodities, crude oil futures for January delivery were down $2.20, or 4.1%, at 50.69 a barrel, after Saudi Arabia proposed a smaller than expected reduction in crude production.

Natural gas futures for January were declining by $0.082, or 1.82%, at $4.387 per million btu.

Gold futures for February were down $0.85, or 0.07%, at $1,241.75 an ounce.

Silver futures for March were lower by $0.144, or 0.99%, at $14.438 an ounce, while Copper futures were down $0.055, or 1.95%, at $2.720 per pound.

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