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Bay Street Seen Opening On Negative Note

Canadian shares look headed for a weak start Friday morning, tracking global cues, and on worries about simmering tensions between the U.S. and China.

Data showing a sharp drop in Canadian retail sales in the month of March may hurt as well.

According to the data released a little while ago, retail sales in Canada plunged 10% over a month earlier in March 2020, after rising an upwardly revised 0.4% in February. It was the largest drop in retail trade on record.

Retail Sales were down 8.4% in March 2020, compared to sales in the same month last year.

On Thursday, the benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index ended down 112.78 points, or 0.75%, at 14,884.85, after having tumbled by more than 200 points at one stage.

Asian stocks fell on Friday as China moved to strengthen control over Hong Kong with new security laws and U.S. President Donald Trump warned that Washington would react "very strongly" if Beijing follows through on its plans.

European markets are recovering after early weakness. Markets opened lower amid fresh concerns about U.S.-China phase one trade deal, following an escalation in tensions between the two countries over virus outbreak and the Hong Kong issue.

In commodities, West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for July are down $1.40, or 4.1%, at $32.52 a barrel.

Gold futures for June are rising $18.40, or 1.1%, at $1,740.30 an ounce, while Silver futures for July are up $0.296, or 1.7%, at $17.660 an ounce.

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