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Bay Street Set To Open On Positive Note

Canadian shares look headed for a positive start on Thursday, tracking firm European stocks and on renewed optimism about U.S.-China "phase one" trade deal.

Higher crude oil futures may also support the market.

According to reports, the U.S. and China have agreed to cancel tariffs on each other's goods for both sides to reach a "phase one" trade deal lifted sentiment.

"The trade war started with tariffs, and should end with the cancellation of tariffs," Chinese commerce ministry spokesman Gao Feng said today, and added that the two sides have agreed to cancel tariffs as the move is vital to the phase one trade agreement.

Investors will also be tracking quarterly earnings reports.

On Wednesday, the benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index ended up 63.72 points, or 0.38%, at 16,745.64, after scaling a low of 16,666.88 and a high of 16,766.58 intraday.

In company news, Manulife Financial Corp. (MFC.TO) said its earnings totaled C$723 million, or C$0.35 per share in the third quarter of this fiscal. This compares with C$1573 million, or C$0.77 per share, in last year's third quarter. Excluding items, Manulife Financial reported adjusted earnings of C$1527 million or C$0.76 per share for the period.

CI Financial Corp. (CIX.TO) reported earnings per share of $0.60 for the third quarter of 2019, compared to $0.47 for the second quarter of 2019 and $0.62 for the third quarter of 2018.

TransAlta Corporation (TA.TO) reported comparable EBITDA for the three and nine months ended Sept. 30, 2019, excluding the PPA Settlements, decreased $1 million and $49 million, respectively, compared to the same periods in 2018.

Canadian Tire Corporation (CTC.TO) reported a profit attributable to shareholders of $197.2 million or $3.20 per diluted share for its third quarter, compared with a profit attributable to shareholders of $203.8 million or $3.15 per diluted share in the same quarter last year.

Asian markets ended flat to slightly higher on Thursday as traders made cautious moves amid reports that there could be a delay in the signing of a U.S.-China trade deal.

European stocks were moving higher on reports the United States and China have agreed to cancel tariffs on each other's goods for both sides to reach a "phase on" trade deal.

In commodities, crude oil futures for December were rising $0.75 or 1.34%, at $57.10 a barrel.

Gold futures for December were declining $6.60, or 0.44%, at $1,486.50 an ounce.

Silver futures for December were down $0.018, or 0.1%, at $17.580 an ounce, while Copper futures for December were rising $0.0375, or 1.4%, at $2.7025 per pound.

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