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Bay Street Likely To Open Higher

The Canadian stock market looks headed for a positive start on Monday, tracking higher crude oil prices. However, fading optimism about steep interest rate reductions by the Federal Reserve may limit market's upside.

Data released by Statistics Canada showing a 1.8% drop in wholesale sales in the month of May may also hurt a bit. In April, wholesale sales were up by a revised 1.6%.

On Friday, the benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index ended down 8.29 points, or 0.05%, at 16,485.94, after scaling a high of 16,573.68 and a low of 16,485.46 in the session. The index shed 0.01% in the week.

In company news, SNC-Lavalin Group Inc. (SNC.TO) said Monday that it will exit lump-sum turnkey or LSTK contracting and reorganize the company's Resources and Infrastructure Construction segments into a separate business line. The company expects lower results in the second-quarter than previously anticipated. Meanwhile, it withdrew its financial guidance for 2019.

Barrick Gold Corp. (ABX.TO) will remain in focus after British hedge fund Odey Asset Management said it is likely to vote on behalf of its clients, in favour of Barrick's final offer to buy out Acacia Mining.

AltaGas Ltd. (ALA.TO) announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement for the sale of its portfolio of U.S. distributed generation assets held by its subsidiaries WGL Energy Systems, Inc. and WGSW, Inc., to TerraForm Power, Inc., an affiliate of Brookfield Asset Management, for total gross proceeds of approximately $940 million.

Asian markets ended mostly lower on Monday as hopes for an aggressive rate reduction by the U.S. central bank faded and tensions between Britain and Iran rose in the Gulf.

European markets were edging higher after Italy's fractious coalition partners geared up for a showdown to avoid the collapse of the government following a series of clashes. However, buying interest was subdued as hopes about aggressive rate by the Federal Reserve faded.

Also, traders were cautious as they looked ahead to U.K. leadership election and the upcoming ECB meeting.

In commodities, crude oil futures for August were up $57, or 1.02%, at $56.20 a barrel, amid rising tensions in the Middle East.

Gold futures for August were down marginally at $1,426.50 an ounce.

Silver futures for September were rising $0.215, or 1.33%, at $16.410 an ounce, while Copper futures for September were declining $0.0210, or 0.76%, at $2.7315 per pound.

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