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Bay Street Likely To Open On Cautious Note

The Canadian stock market is likely to open on a cautious note on Friday. The market's strength will depend largely on Canadian and U.S. jobs data, both due ahead of the opening bell.

Investors will also be looking ahead to the outcome of the crucial meeting of OPEC in Vienna. Crude oil prices were moving up slightly Friday morning, after having declined sharply in the previous session.

U.S.-China trade disputes will continue to weigh on the market, as the arrest of Huawei Technologies' CFO in Canada has raised fears that the two countries may not find a solution to the crisis before the expiry of the 90-day truce agreed upon by the two sides during the G20 summit last weekend.

On Thursday, the benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index ended with a big loss of 245.64 points, or 1.62%, at 14,937.00, after plunging to a low of 14,773.86 intraday.

In company news, Reitmans (Canada) Limited (RET.TO) reported third quarter net earnings of $9.5 million as compared to $8.9 million in net earnings for the third quarter of fiscal 2019.

Asian stocks ended mostly higher after a lackluster session on Friday, and European markets moved up as well, after U.S. stock markets recovered from an early plunge to end mixed overnight, helped by hopes the Federal Reserve could pause its interest-rate hikes.

Renewed worries about U.S.-China trade dispute after the arrest of Huawei Technologies Co.'s CEO in Canada continued to weigh on sentiment. Investors looked ahead to a key U.S jobs report due later on Monday.

In economic news from Europe, UK house price inflation slowed more-than-expected in November to its lowest level since December 2012, figures the Lloyds Banking Group subsidiary Halifax showed on Friday. The house price index rose 0.3% year-on-year in the three months to November, after a 1.5% increase in the three months to October. Economists had expected 1% growth.

Meanwhile, survey data from the Bank of England showed that UK inflation expectations for the coming year rose to their highest level in five years. Median expectations of the rate of inflation over the coming year were 3.2%, compared to 3% in August, the results of the quarterly Bank of England/TNS Inflation Attitudes Survey showed. The 3.2% expectation was the highest since the November survey of 2013, when the year-ahead inflation was projected at 3.6%.

The Canadian employment data for the month of November is due at 8:30 AM ET.

U.S. jobs data for the month of November is due at 8:30 AM ET. Economists expect employment to increase by 205,000 jobs in November after an increase of 250,000 jobs in October. The jobless rate is expected to hold at 3.7%.

In commodities, Crude oil futures for January were up $0.31, or 0.6%, at $51.80 a barrel.

Natural gas futures for January were down marginally at $4.322 per million btu.

Gold futures for February were edging up by $2.50, or 0.2%, at $1,246.10 an ounce.

Silver futures for March were up $0.041, or 0.28%, at $14.550 an ounce, while Copper futures for March were rising $0.015, or 0.55%, at $2.758 per pound.

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