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Bay Street Likely To Open On Cautious Note

The Canadian stock market is likely to see cautious moves on Friday with investors tracking news about U.S.-China trade talks. Fairly encouraging Canadian employment data is likely to aid sentiment.

Asian and European markets shrugged off additional tariffs imposed by the U.S. on over $200 billion worth of Chinese goods, but a clear picture about trade issues could emerge later in the day.

On Thursday, Chinese Vice Premier Liu He, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin were in discussions. They are expected to continue their discussions today to try and agree on a long term trade deal.

In economic news, employment in Canada increased by 106,500 in April 2019, beating forecasts by a substantial margin.

Meanwhile, the unemployment rate in Canada fell to 5.7% in April 2019 from 5.8% in the previous month and slightly below market expectations of 5.8%.

The value of building permits in Canada increased 2.1% from the previous month to CAD 8.1 billion in March of 2019, after a downwardly revised 5.1% fall in February and below market expectations of a 2.8% increase.

On Thursday, the benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index ended down 75.65 points, or 0.46%, at 16,321.75, more than 60 points off the day's low of 16,258.92.

In company news, Enbridge Inc. (ENB.TO) reported a $265 million increase in adjusted earnings in the first quarter of 2019. The company attributed the increase to strong operating results and operating cost efficiencies across many of its business units. On a per share basis, adjusted earnings decreased by $0.01 per share compared to the same period in 2018.

Nutrien Inc. (NTR.TO) reported net income from continuing operations of $41 million for the first quarter ended March 31, compared with net loss of $1 million a year ago. However, that was short of expectations as agriculture supply chain of the company got disrupted due to flooding across the U.S. and severe drought in Australia.

Asian markets ended mostly higher on Friday as investors shrugged off the U.S. decision to increase tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods and remained hopeful of a breakthrough in trade talks.

European stocks are up with investors reacting positively to solid economic data from Germany and the U.K., and remaining hopeful a breakthrough in U.S.-China trade talks.

In economic news from Europe, official data showed Germany's exports unexpectedly rose 1.5% month-on-month in March, after a revised 1.2% fall in February. The rebound was the fastest pace in three months.

Britain's economy got a sharp one-off boost in the first three months of 2019, boosted by companies stockpiling ahead of Brexit.

GDP grew 0.5% in the first quarter, outpacing the 0.2% expansion seen in the final three months of 2018.

In commodities, crude oil futures for June are up $0.27, or 0.44%, at $61.97 a barrel.

Gold futures for June are gaining $1.60, or 0.12%, at $1,286.80 an ounce.

Silver futures for July are up $0.007, or 0.05%, at $14.780 an ounce, while Copper futures for July are up $0.0005, or 0.02%, at $2.772 per pound.

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