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Bay Street May Open Higher On Firm Commodity Prices

The Canadian stock market looks headed for a positive start on Friday, tracking higher crude oil and gold prices. The market is also likely to be supported by rising optimism about a rate cut by the Federal Reserve later this month.

Data released by Statistics Canada a little while ago showed retail Sales in Canada decreased 0.1% in May over the previous month. Compared to May 2018, retail sales were up by 0.1% in May 2019.

Retail Sales Ex Autos in Canada decreased to -0.3% in May from 0.1% in April of 2019, the data showed.

On Thursday, the benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index ended at 16,494.23, gaining 10.02 points, or 0.06%. During the session, the index touched a low of 16,445.13 and a high of 16,514.50.

In company news, Barrick Gold Corp. (ABX.TO) and Acacia Mining plc (ACA.L) have reached terms of a recommended offer, under which Barrick will acquire all Acacia shares which it does not already own. Barrick currently owns 262.25 million Acacia Shares, representing approximately 63.9% of Acacia share capital.

Cineplex Inc. (CGX.TO) announced today that its cash dividend of $0.150 per share for the month of July 2019 will be paid on August 30, 2019 to shareholders of record on July 31.

Asian markets ended mostly higher on Friday, amid hopes the Federal Reserve will cut interest rates later this month and on better-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings results from Microsoft Corp.

European markets were moving higher as investors cheered dovish comments by a top Fed official and Microsoft reported revenue of $125.8 billion for the fiscal year 2019 - setting a new record fiscal year for the company.

In economic news, the U.K. budget deficit widened to the highest June level since 2015 in June while the euro area current account surplus rose to a seasonally adjusted EUR 30 billion in May from EUR 22 billion in April, separate reports showed.

Germany's producer price inflation eased in June, advancing 1.2% year-on-year, slower than the 1.9% increase seen in May. Inflation was expected to increase at the rate of 1.5%.

Italy's current account surplus increased in May from previous year, data from Bank of Italy showed on Friday. The current account surplus rose to EUR 2.59 billion from EUR 1.86 billion in the same period last year.

In commodities, crude oil futures for August were gaining $0.71, or 1.28%, at $56.01 a barrel.

Gold futures for August were up $10.50, or 0.73%, at $1,438.60 an ounce.

Silver futures for September were rising $0.197, or 1.22%, at $16.395 an ounce, while Copper futures for September were up $0.0795, or 2.9%, at $2.7895 per pound.

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