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Bay Street Likely To See Cautious Moves

The Canadian stock market may stay somewhat subdued on Thursday as investors are likely to refrain from making significant moves ahead of a long weekend.

Data on Canadian retail sales for the month of February, due at 8:30 AM ET., may provide some direction to the market.

Investors will also be reacting to data on U.S. services sector activity, retail sales, initial jobless claims and Philly Fed's report on business conditions.

On the trade front, according to reports, the U.S. and China are planning a couple of meetings between U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He in late August and early May, aiming to finalise a deal by late May or early June.

On Wednesday, the benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index ended up 42.04 points, or 0.25%, at 16,544.24.

In company news, Rogers Communications Inc. (RCI.B.TO) reported first quarter net earnings $391 million or 76 cents per share, down from $425 million or 80 cents per share a year ago when Rogers received a special payment from Major League Baseball.

MTY Food Group Inc. (MTY.TO) has declared a quarterly dividend of 16.5¢ per share, payable on May 15, 2019 to shareholders registered in the Company's records at the end of the business day on May 3, 2019.

Asian markets ended mostly lower on Thursday, with investors largely making cautious moves ahead of the Good Friday and Easter holidays.

European stocks are turning in a mixed performance in cautious trade ahead of the long weekend.

Most of the markets in Europe will remain closed on Friday and Monday for the Easter holiday.

In economic news, U.K. retail sales volumes unexpectedly rose in March.

Eurozone PMI dropped to a three-month low of 51.3 in April, from 51.6 in March, raising concerns about global growth.

Switzerland's exports slowed in March after rising in the previous month.

In Germany, producer price inflation slowed to the lowest pace in eleven months in March, rising 2.4% year-on-year, after rising 2.6% a month earlier.

In commodities, crude oil futures for May are up $0.22, or 0.35%, at $63.98 a barrel.

Gold futures for June are up marginally at $1,277.40 an ounce.

Silver futures for May are down $0.009, or 0.06%, at $14.930 an ounce, while Copper futures for May are declining $0.0450, or 1.5%, at $2.9225 per pound.

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