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Bay Street Likely To Open With Negative Gap

Weakness in European markets and lower commodity prices amid rising concerns about spikes in coronavirus cases across the world point to a negative start for Canadian stocks on Thursday.

Investors will also be tracking quarterly earnings reports for some direction.

In economic news, average weekly earnings of non-farm payroll employees in Canada grew 10.4% year-on-year to C$ 1,139 in May 2020.

The market ended on a strong note on Wednesday, led by gains in technology, energy and industrial shares. The benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index ended with a gain of 173.34 points or 1.08% at 16,294.66 after hitting a high of 16,317.89.

In company news, Fortis Inc. (FTS.TO) reported second quarter net earnings attributable to common equity shareholders of C$274 million, or C$0.59 per share, compared to C$720 million, or C$1.66 per share, for the same period in 2019.

Accord Financial Corp. (ACD.TO) reported adjusted net earnings of $0.55 per share for the quarter ended June 2020, compared with net earnings of $0.28 per share in the year-ago quarter.

Whitecap Resources Inc. (WCP.TO) reported a net loss of $78.2 million for the quarter ended June 2020, as against net profit of $58.3 million a year ago.

Crescent Point Energy (CPG.TO) reported adjusted net loss of C$27.9 million for the quarter ended June 2020, compared with net income of C$146 million in the corresponding quarter last year.

ATCO Ltd. (ACO.X.TO) announced second quarter 2020 adjusted earnings of $70 million, or $0.61 per share, compared to $78 million, or $0.68 per share, in the second quarter of 2019.

Maple Leaf Foods Inc. (MFI.TO) announced it posted net earnings of $25.7 million in the second quarter, compared to net loss of $6.3 million last year.

Asian stocks ended mixed on Thursday as the relentless surge in coronavirus cases around the world offset investor optimism over the Federal Reserve's dovish policy statement.

Fed policymakers renewed their pledge to utilize all means at their disposal to set the virus-hit economy on the path to recovery but warned that the outlook would depend on the course the virus takes.

European stocks are down sharply, hurt by rising coronavirus cases and disappointing earnings reports.

In commodities, West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for September are down $0.70 or 1.7% at $40.57 a barrel.

Gold futures for August are down $7.00 or 0.37% at $1,946.40 an ounce.

Silver futures for September are lower by $0.871 or 3.58% at $23.450 an ounce, while Copper futures for September are down $0.010 or 0.51% at $2.9040 per pound.

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