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Bay Street Headed For Another Positive Start

Higher futures and crude oil prices point to a positive start for Canadian shares on Friday. Reports that U.S.-China trade talks will continue next week pushed up stock prices in Europe even as concerns about global economic slowdown continued to weigh on sentiment.

Investors will also be reacting to corporate earnings reports and news from the U.S. on border wall funding issue.

On Thursday, the benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index ended up 69.25 points, or 0.44%, at 15,695.98, after scaling a low of 15,608.15 and a high of 15,733.13 intraday.

In company news, Enbridge Inc. (ENB,ENB.TO) reported adjusted earnings of $1,166 million or $0.65 per common share for the fourth quarter of 2018 and $4,568 million or $2.65 per common share for the full year 2018, compared to $1,013 million or $0.61 per common share in the fourth quarter of 2017 and $2,982 million or $1.96 per common share for the full year 2017.

Enbridge reiterated its guidance for the mid-point of the projected range of 2019 and 2020 Distributable Cash Flow (DCF) per share of $4.45 per share and $5.00 per share, respectively. Beyond 2020, Enbridge is targeting to achieve annual DCF per share growth in the range of 5 to 7%.

Canopy Growth Corporation (WEED.TO) reported net income attributable to shareholders of $67.6 million or 22 cents per basic share, up from $1.6 million or one cent per basic share a year earlier.

MTY Food Group Inc. (MTY.TO) said its net income attributable to shareholders decreased by 33%, to $12.9 million, or $0.34 per share in the fourth quarter, compared compared to $19.4 million, or $0.91 per share, for the same period last year. The company cited an increase in impairment charge to the lower income in the fourth quarter.

Air Canada (AC.TO) recorded adjusted net income of $54 million or $0.20 per diluted share in the fourth quarter of 2018, compared to adjusted net income of $60 million or $0.22 per diluted share in the fourth quarter of 2017.

Asian markets ended lower on Friday as weak data from the U.S. and China rekindled investor worries about a slowdown in the global economy.

U.S. President Donald Trump's insistence that border security justifies a national emergency and skepticism over the latest round of U.S.-China trade talks also kept investors nervous.

European stocks were moving higher after Chinese President Xi Jinping said talks will continue next week in Washington, after two days of U.S.-Chinese trade talks ended with no immediate word of progress. Markets shrugged off news about Spain entering a new period of political uncertainty.

In economic news from Europe, Spain's consumer price inflation eased for the third consecutive month in January to its lowest level in twelve months, led by fall in prices of recreation and culture and transport, preliminary data from the statistical office INE showed on Friday.

Data from Eurostat said Eurozone's merchandise trade surplus for December came in below expectations, as exports decreased, while imports were unchanged.

In news from the U.K., a report from the Office of National Statistics showed retail sales rebounded strongly in January, rising at a faster-than-expected pace of 1%, from December 2018.

In news from the U.S., the University of Michigan's consumer sentiment index will be out at 10 AM ET.

In commodities, crude oil futures for March were gaining $0.50, or 0.9%, at $54.91 a barrel.

Gold futures for April were up $7.40, or 0.56%, at $1,321.30 an ounce.

Silver futures for March were gaining $0.97, or 0.62%, at $15.625 an ounce, while Copper futures for March were up $0.0185, or 0.67%, at $2.7925 per pound.

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