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Bay Street Seen Opening On Firm Note

It's likely to be a positive start for the Canadian stock market Friday morning, with investors reacting to data on Canadian GDP for the month of May, and tracking higher crude oil and gold prices.

Data released by Statistics Canada a little while ago showed the Canadian economy grew 4.5% over a month earlier in May 2020, recovering from a record 11.6% contraction in April and compared with market expectations of a 3.5% expansion.

Another data showed Industrial product prices in Canada rose 0.4% in June, after rising 1.2% in May. Raw materials prices were up 7.5% in May, after rising 16.4% a month earlier.

Encouraging earnings updates from U.S. technology majors are likely to aid sentiment, while the surge in coronavirus cases and Thursday's data showing a record contraction in U.S. GDP in the second quarter may continue to weigh on the market and limit its upside.

The market ended slightly up on Thursday, recovering gradually after an early setback. The benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index ended with a gain of 4.63 points or 0.03% at 16,299.29, rallying from an early low of 16,020.55.

In company news, TransAlta Corporation (TA.TO) said net loss attributable to common shareholders for the three months ended June 30, 2020, was $60 million compared to nil in the same period in the prior year. Net loss attributable to common shareholders for the six months ended June 30, 2020, was $33 million, compared to a loss of $65 million in the same period in 2019.

SNC-Lavalin Group Inc. (SNC.TO) reported a net loss of $111.6 million or 64 cents for the second-quarter of this financial year, compared with a net loss of $2,118.3 million or $12.07 per share in the second-quarter of 2019.

Air Canada (AC.TO) reported a net loss of $1.752 billion or $6.44 per diluted share in the second quarter of this financial year, compared to net income of $343 million or $1.26 per diluted share in the second quarter of 2019.

Asian markets ended mostly lower on Friday, reacting to data showing the U.S. economy contracted by the most in 73 years in the second quarter. Rising worries about coronavirus spread and the possibility of a delayed November election in the U.S. also weighed on markets.

After a firm start and a subsequent retreat, European stocks are mostly holding in positive territory with investors digesting downbeat Eurozone GDP data and the latest batch of earnings updates from U.S. technology majors Amazon, Apple, Alphabet and Facebook.

Data from Eurostat showed Eurozone Gross domestic product fell 12.1% on a quarterly basis, bigger than the 3.6% drop in the first quarter. This was bigger than the economists' forecast of 11.2% and was the sharpest decline seen since the series began in 1995.

In commodities, West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for September are rising $0.37 or 0.9% at $40.29 a barrel.

Gold futures for December are up $51.40 or 2.65% at $1,993.70 an ounce.

Silver futures for September are rising $1.003 or 4.3% at $24.365 an ounce, while Copper futures for September are down $0.0130 or 0.4% at $2.9010 per pound.

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