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Bay Street May Open Higher

Canadian shares are likely to open higher, tracking cues from Asian and European markets, where stocks surged higher amid easing worries about the impact of coronavirus after the World Health Organization (WHO) said the virus outbreak in China is not a global health emergency as yet.

On Thursday, the benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index ended up 21.92 points, or 0.12%, at 17,621.78, well off the day's low of 17,540.77.

In company news, Richelieu Hardware Ltd. (RCH.TO) said net earnings attributable to shareholders of the Corporation totaled $67.5 million in 2019, stable with 2018. Net earnings per share amounted to $1.19 basic and $1.18 diluted, compared with $1.18 basic and $1.17 diluted for 2018, an increase of 0.8% and 0.9%, respectively.

Barrick Gold Corp (ABX.TO) will be in focus after Tanzania signed agreements with the company, aiming to end a long-running and costly tax dispute, giving the state a holding in three gold mines whose output is among the country's biggest export earners.

Asian markets ended mostly higher on Friday, reacting positively to a report from the World Health Organization that said the coronavirus outbreak in China did not yet constitute a global health emergency.

Markets in China, South Korea and Taiwan were closed for the Lunar New Year holidays.

European shares are gaining as worries about the coronavirus eased after the World Health Organization acknowledged that the pneumonia-like respiratory disease is an emergency in China, but said the virus did not yet constitute a so-called 'global health emergency.'

In commodities, crude oil futures for March are down $0.19, or 0.34% at $55.40 a barrel.

Gold futures for February are declining $8.00, or 0.51%, at $1,557.40 an ounce.

Silver futures for March are little changed at $17.830 an ounce, while Copper futures for March are down $0.0120, or 0.4%, at $2.7140 per pound.

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