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Bay Street Likely To Open With Positive Bias

Canadian shares are likely to open on a cautious note, albeit with a positive bias, on Thursday morning, with investors tracking trade news and reacting to the latest batch of economic data.

Slightly higher crude oil prices may push up energy stocks, while mixed signals on the trade front might cap market's upside.

Investors will also be reacting to the data on Canadian trade for the month of October. The IVY Purchasing Managers Index for November will be out at 10 AM ET.

On the economic front from the U.S., data on jobless claims, trade balance and durable goods orders are due this morning.

On Wednesday, the benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index edged up 5.16 points or less than a tenth of a percent to 16,897.34, snapping a three-day losing streak.

In company news, TELUS Corporation (T.TO), announced on Wednesday that it has agreed to acquire privately-owned Competence Call Center, a provider of higher-value-added business services with a focus on customer relationship management and content moderation, for approximately €915 million or approximately C$1.3 billion consisting of debt and equity. Telus will acquire the call center through Telus International.

TD Bank Group (TD.TO) reported fourth quarter adjusted earnings per share of C$1.59, compared to C$1.63, prior year. That was less than an expected earnings per share of C$1.74. Fourth quarter reported earnings were C$2.9 billion, down 4% on a reported basis and down 3% on an adjusted basis, from a year ago.

Bombardier Inc. (BBD.B.TO) is set to build its flagship busines jet at Pearson airport. The company said it has secured a long-term lease from the Greater Toronto Airports Authority for space to build its flagship business jet.

Asian markets ended mostly higher on Thursday on renewed optimism about a U.S.-China trade deal after a report in Bloomberg said the two countries are moving closer to agreeing on the amount of tariffs that would be rolled back in a phase one trade deal.

European stocks were sluggish with investors looking for direction amid mixed signals on U.S.-China "phase one" trade deal. Also, with the crucial U.S. non-farm payrolls report due on Friday, the mood was a bit cautious in the markets. Investors were also digesting the data on Eurozone GDP and retail sales data.

In commodities, crude oil futures for January are gaining $0.25, or 0.43%, at $58.68 a barrel.

Gold futures for February are up $0.40, or 0.03%, at $1,480.60 an ounce.

Silver futures for February are gaining $0.019, or 0.11%, at $16.935 an ounce, while Copper futures for February are up $0.0065, or 0.25%, at $2.6655 per pound.

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