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Bay Street Likely To Open Lower

Canadian shares are likely to open weak on Friday as rising concerns about the rapid spread of the coronavirus outbreak in the U.S. and across several countries in Europe may outweigh massive stimulus steps taken by global central banks and governments.

Also, after three successive days of big gains, traders might look to trim down positions ahead of the weekend.

On Thursday, the benchmark S&NP/TSX Composite Index ended up 231.94 points, or 1.77%, at 13,371.17, well off the day's high of 13,592.34.

The index ended 4.52% up on Wednesday, after closing nearly 12% up a day earlier.

In company news, Magna International Inc. (MG.TO) has withdrawn its outlook, citing the high degree of business uncertainty caused by COVID-19. The company noted that it has liquidity of about $4 billion including approximately $1 billion in cash and $3 billion in available, committed credit lines at February 29, 2020.

Magna also said that it has established internal task forces to assess, monitor and deal with the potential impact of COVID-19 on its business and share information across the company.

SNC-Lavalin Group Inc. (SNC.TO) announced it is withdrawing its financial outlook for the full year 2020 that was provided by the company on February 28, 2020, due to uncertainty regarding the impact of the coronavirus pandemic and the related impact on the company's worldwide operations.

Asian markets failed to hold early gains and ended on a mixed note on Friday, as worries about an impending global recession offset optimism over U.S. stimulus and a pledge by G20 countries to inject $5 trillion into the global economy to overcome the virus crisis.

European stocks are down sharply amid concerns about the impact of the virus outbreak and on reports the European Union leaders are likely to take two more weeks to work out stimulus measures amid rising casualties in some parts of Europe due to COVID-19.

In commodities, crude oil futures for May are down $0.33, or 1.44%, at $22.27 a barrel.

Gold futures for April are declining $31.70, or 1.9%, at $1,619.50 an ounce.

Silver futures for May are down $1.76, or 1.2%, at $14.500 an ounce, while Copper futures for May are lower by $0.0080, or 0.37%, at $2.1610 per pound.

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