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Canadian Stocks Are Rising As China Concerns Ease - Canadian Commentary

The Canadian stock market is gaining ground in early trade Friday, following two consecutive days of triple digit declines. Worries about China's growth have eased after the country reported that it logged a double-digit growth in exports in the month of September, despite escalating trade tensions with the U.S.

Markets on Wall Street are staging a recovery this morning, following a sharp 2-day sell-off. Bargain hunting is playing a role, as investors step in to buy stocks at reduced prices. Traders also reacted positively to earnings from big banks like JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup and Wells Fargo.

Markets in Europe are logging modest gains Friday. Traders were encouraged by some positive economic data and the easing concerns over China.

The benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index is up 104.40 points or 0.68 percent at 15,421.53.

On Thursday, the index closed down by 200.27 points or 1.29 percent, at 15,317.13. The index scaled an intraday high of 15,482.26 and a low of 15,317.13.

The Capped Information Technology Index is gaining 2.29 percent. BlackBerry (BB.TO) is rising 1.13 percent and Sierra Wireless (SW.TO) is up 2.34 percent. Constellation Software (CSU.TO) is climbing 0.75 percent and Descartes Systems Group (DSG.TO) is advancing 3.09 percent.

The Capped Industrials Index is up 1.69 percent. Air Canada (AC.TO) is advancing 0.29 percent and Finning International (FTT.TO) is climbing 1.12 percent. Canadian Pacific Railway (CP.TO) is rising 2.68 percent and Canadian National Railway (CNR.TO) is gaining 1.80 percent.

The Energy Index is rising 1.07 percent. Suncor Energy (SU.TO) is gaining 1.88 percent and Encana (ECA.TO) is up 0.88 percent. Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO) is advancing 0.42 percent and Husky Energy (HSE.TO) is increasing 1.35 percent. Imperial Oil (IMO.TO) is climbing 0.85 percent and Enbridge (ENB.TO) is higher by 0.71 percent.

The Capped Telecommunication Services Index is up 1.07 percent. TELUS (T.TO) is rising 0.54 percent and BCE (BCE.TO) is higher by 1.24 percent. Rogers Communications (RCI-B.TO) is adding 0.98 percent.

The heavyweight Financial Index is increasing 0.38 percent. Bank of Montreal (BMO.TO) is higher by 0.14 percent and Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS.TO) is gaining 0.06 percent. Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO) is climbing 0.11 and Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CM.TO) is up 0.21 percent. Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO) is rising 0.16 percent and National Bank of Canada (NA.TO) is adding 0.11 percent.

The Gold Index is decreasing 1.89 percent. Kinross Gold (K.TO) is lower by 3.12 percent and Goldcorp (G.TO) is losing 1.35 percent. IAMGOLD (IMG.TO) is down 2.33 percent and Barrick Gold (ABX.TO) is declining 2.31 percent. Eldorado Gold (ELD.TO) is falling 5.65 percent and Yamana Gold (YRI.TO) is dropping 2.83 percent.

The Capped Materials Index is down 0.27 percent. Agnico Eagle Mines (AEM.TO) is losing 2.50 percent and Franco-Nevada (FNV.TO) is weakening by 1.41 percent.

Aphria Inc. (APH.TO) announced that it earned nearly $21.2 million in its latest quarter, up from $15 million in the same quarter a year ago. Shares are slipping 0.30 percent.

On the economic front, China's exports grew more-than-expected in September despite the worsening trade dispute with the U.S., but the increase in imports slowed, reflecting softening domestic demand, figures from the Customs Administration revealed Friday.

Exports grew 14.5 percent year-on-year in September, faster than the 9.8 percent increase seen in August and the expected increase of 8.8 percent.

At the same time, imports advanced 14.3 percent annually compared to the forecast of 12.4 percent and August's 19.9 percent rise.

As a result, the trade surplus increased to around $32 billion in September, but below the forecast of $38 billion.

Eurozone industrial production grew more-than-expected in August, data from Eurostat revealed Friday. Industrial production climbed 1 percent on a monthly basis, reversing 0.7 percent drop each in June and July. Output was expected to rise moderately by 0.4 percent.

Germany's consumer price inflation accelerated to its highest level in nearly seven years in September, final data from Destatis revealed Friday. Consumer prices advanced 2.3 percent on year, the fastest since November 2011, when inflation was 2.4 percent. Prices had advanced only 2 percent in August.

Reflecting a substantial rebound in fuel prices, the Labor Department released a report on Friday showing a much bigger than expected increase in U.S. import prices in the month of September.

The Labor Department said import prices climbed by 0.5 percent in September after falling by a revised 0.4 percent in August.

Economists had expected import prices to rise by 0.2 percent compared to the 0.6 percent drop originally reported for the previous month.

Meanwhile, the report said export prices came in unchanged in September after slipping by a revised 0.2 percent in August.

Export prices had also been expected to increase by 0.2 percent compared to the 0.1 percent dip originally reported for the previous month.

With consumers offering less favorable assessments of their personal finances, the University of Michigan released a report on Friday unexpectedly showing a modest decrease in U.S. consumer sentiment in the month of October.

The preliminary report showed the consumer sentiment index dipped to 99.0 in October from the final September reading of 100.1. The drop surprised economists, who had expected the index to inch up to 100.4.

In commodities, crude oil futures for November delivery are up 0.31 or 0.44 percent at $71.28 a barrel.

Natural gas for November is down 0.055 or 1.71 percent at $3.167 per million btu.

Gold futures for December are down 3.90 or 0.32 percent at $1,223.70 an ounce.

Silver for December is up 0.064 or 0.44 percent at $14.67 an ounce.

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