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Bay Street Set To Open On Firm Note

Canadian shares are likely to open on a positive note Wednesday morning, tracking cues from Asian and European markets, where stocks gained in strength amid slightly easing worries about the economic impact of the coronavirus.

According to reports, there have been signs the virus outbreak may be peaking at the epicenter of the crisis.

Higher crude oil prices and some strong earnings reports are also expected to support the market.

On Tuesday, the benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index rose to a fresh record high of 17,822.15, and ended the session with a gain of 36.54 points, or 0.21%, at 17,777.11, a new closing high.

In company news, Cenovus Energy Inc. (CVE.TO) reported a fourth-quarter operating loss per share of C$0.13 compared to a loss of C$1.36, prior year. Operating loss from continuing operations narrowed year-on-year to C$164 million from C$1.67 billion.

Molson Coors Beverage Company (TPX.TO) reported fourth-quarter underlying income per share of $1.02 compared to $0.84, prior year.

Shopify Inc. (SHOP.TO) said it expects revenues for the first quarter in a range of $440 million to $446 million and for fiscal 2020 in a range of $2.130 billion to $2.160 billion. The company reported net income of $4.1 million for the fourth quarter of 2019, as against loss of $12.0 million a year ago.

Barrick Gold Corp. (ABX.TO) has reported basic adjusted net earnings of $0.17 per share for the fourth quarter. The company reported it produced 5,465,000 ounces of gold in 2019, at the top end of its guidance range while copper production was 432 million pounds in the year, which was above the guidance range.

Asian markets closed mostly higher on Wednesday as anxiety ebbed over the spread of a deadly virus in mainland China and Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell told Congress that the U.S. economy is in good shape, despite potential threat from the coronavirus outbreak in China.

European stocks are rising and are near record highs as reports about a drop in the number of new coronavirus cases help ease investor concerns surrounding its economic impact.

In commodities, West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for March are rising $0.97, or 1.94%, at $50.91 a barrel.

Gold futures for April are down $2.10, or 0.14%, at $1,568.00 an ounce.

Silver futures for March are declining $0.063, or 0.35%, at $17.526 an ounce, while Copper futures for March are rising $0.00205, or 0.8%, at $2.6035 per pound.

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