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Bay Street Headed For Positive Opening

Canadian shares look set for a positive opening on Wednesday, amid optimism about U.S.-China trade negotiations and on reports that U.S. President Donald Trump is likely to sign a Congressional spending package on a border security agreement.

On Tuesday, Trump said he was not pleased with a tentative agreement reached by the lawmakers, but stopped short of saying he would reject the plan.

On Tuesday, the benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index ended up 73.25 points, or 0.47%, at 15,642.10, slightly off the day's high of 15,654.82. The index touched a low of 15,583.38 in the session.

In company news, Barrick Gold Corp. (ABX.TO) reported that its fourth-quarter net loss widened to $1.197 billion from $314 million in the prior year. Net loss per share widened to $1.02 from $0.27 last year.

Asian markets ended mostly higher on Wednesday amid optimism about U.S.-China trade talks after U.S. President Donald Trump gave hints at extending an early March deadline to reach an agreement before raising tariffs.

West Fraser Timber Co. Ltd (WFT.TO) reported adjusted earnings of $43 million or 63 cents per share, for the fourth quarter, as compared to earnings of $201 million or $2.58 per share in the year-ago quarter.

Yellow Pages Limited (Y.TO) reported net earnings of $39,957 for the quarter ended December 2018, as against net loss of $584,602 in the year-ago quarter.

European stocks were moving higher, extending gains from previous two sessions, amid optimism the U.S. and China might be able to resolve their long-running trade dispute before the March 1 deadline.

Meanwhile, U.S. President Donald Trump expressed displeasure with a deal by congressional negotiators on border security spending but played down the chances of another government shutdown.

Investors shrugged off political uncertainty in Spain, with media reports suggesting the socialist government would call a snap general election after its expected defeat in the budget vote.

In economic releases, Eurozone industrial output shrank by 0.9% in December, falling for the second month in a row. On an annual basis, output fell 4.2%.

A release from the British government showed U.K. inflation rate to have fallen to 1.8% in January, the lowest in two years.

Data on U.S. Consumer Price Inflation in January is due at 8:30 AM ET.

In commodities, crude oil futures for March were gaining $0.31, or 0.6%, at $53.41, ahead of inventory data from the Energy Information Administration.

Gold futures for April were declining $2.20, or 0.17%, at $1,311.80 an ounce.

Silver futures for March were edging lower by $0.045, or 0.29%, at $15.645 an ounce, while Copper futures for March were up $0.0005, or 0.02%, at $2.7725 per pound.

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