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Bay Street May Open Slightly Higher, But Growth Worries May Hurt Stocks

Canadian shares look set for a slightly higher start on Monday thanks to a rise in crude oil prices. However, global growth concerns and uncertainty about U.S.-China trade negotiations and Brexit may limit market's upside.

Activity may remain stock specific for much of the trading session.

On Friday, the benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index ended down 60.30 points, or 0.38%, at 15,996.21, well off the day's low of 15,891.94. The index touched a high of 16,000.79 in the session.

In company news, CGI (GIB.A.TO) announced an all-cash tender offer of 41.45 Swedish kronor per share to acquire Acando AB, a Stockholm-based management and IT consulting services firm. The offer represents a total price of 4.32 billion kronor for Acando, including the assumption of 93 million kronor in net debt corresponding to approximately C$614.7 million.

SEMAFO Inc. (SMF.TO) and Savary Gold Corp. (TSX-V: SCA) announced that they have entered into a definitive combination agreement pursuant to which SEMAFO will acquire all of the issued and outstanding common shares of Savary not already owned by it.

The Green Organic Dutchman Holdings Ltd. (TGOD.TO) announced that it has entered into a multi-year extraction services contract with Valens GroWorks Corp.

Ag Growth International Inc. (AFN.TO) announced that it has entered into binding purchase agreements to acquire 100% of the outstanding shares of Milltec Machinery Limited for $109.5 million, plus the potential for up to an additional $38.4 million based on the achievement of EBITDA1 targets.

Asian stocks turned in a mixed performance on Monday as global growth worries offset hopes for policy support from China.

U.S. job growth almost halted in February and new bank loans in China fell sharply last month, adding to concerns over cooling global growth.

European stocks were broadly higher on Monday, as media reports suggesting that Deutsche Bank has begun tentative merger talks with rival Commerzbank helped investors shrug off global growth worries.

Traders also reacted positively to comments from Fed Chair Jerome Powell that interest rates are currently "appropriate" and "roughly neutral.

Investors also awaited a crucial vote on U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May's revised Brexit deal on Tuesday for directional cues.

On the economic front from the U.S., data on retail sales for the month of January is due at 8:30 AM ET.

Business inventories and business sales data for the month of December are due at 10 AM ET.

In commodities, crude oil futures for April were gaining $0.41, or 0.73%, at $56.48 a barrel.

Gold futures for April were down $4.00, or 0.31%, at $1,295.30 an ounce.

Silver futures for May were declining $0.039, or 0.25%, at $15.310 an ounce, while Copper futures for May were gaining $0.0035, or 0.12%, at $2.8970 per pound.

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