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Bay Street Set To Open On Firm Note

Canadian shares look headed for a positive start Tuesday morning, tracking strong gains in Europe, and higher U.S. futures amid hopes for a stimulus, and on optimism about economic recovery. The market is also likely to benefit from higher crude oil prices.

Reports about Russia registering the first vaccine 'Sputnik V.' against the coronavirus pandemic is likely to aid sentiment. Russian President Vladimir Putin said mass production will be available within weeks and expects to produce millions of doses in the coming months.

On Monday, the benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index, which tumbled to 16,534.95 after advancing to 16,647.34 in early trades, ended the day with a gain of 61.02 points or 0.23% at 16,605.50.

In company news, Nutrien Ltd. (NTR.TO) reported that its second-quarter net earnings decreased to $765 million or $1.34 per share from $858 million or $1.47 per share in the prior year, due to significantly lower crop nutrient prices.

Hydro One Ltd. (H.TO) reported a second-quarter profit of $1.1 billion, boosted by a one-time gain of $867 million related to a court decision. Hydro One says the profit amounted to $1.84 per share for the quarter ended June 30, up from $155 million or 26 cents per share a year earlier.

Air Canada (AC_A.TO) announced Tuesday that its new loyalty program will launch on November 8, 2020. This is the first loyalty program in Canada purpose-built for families, with points and benefits sharing.

Martinrea International Inc. (MRE.TO) reported second-quarter net loss of $146.9 million or $1.84 per share, compared with net income of $28.1 million or 34 cents per share a year earlier. The adjusted loss was $73.1 million or 91 cents per share, down from an adjusted profit of $54.6 million or 66 cents per share in the second quarter of 2019, the company said.

In economic news, data released by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation showed housing starts in Canada surged by a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 15.8% from a month earlier to 245,604 units in July of 2020, beating market expectations.

Asian stocks ended mixed on Tuesday as investors kept an eye on rising U.S.-China tensions and ongoing stimulus talks in Washington. Chinese stocks ended sharply lower as investors awaited a meeting between top U.S. and Chinese trade officials on Saturday to review the first six months of the Phase 1 trade deal.

European stocks are sharply higher amid optimism about economic rebound and hopes for a U.S. stimulus package. A report showing a surge in car sales in China is also aiding sentiment.

In commodities, West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for September are up $0.65 or 1.55% at $42.59 a barrel.

Gold futures for December are declining $54.00 or 2.7% at $1,985.70 an ounce. Silver futures for September are down $1.491 or 5.1% at $27.770 an ounce, while Copper futures for September are lower by $0.0165 or 0.58% at $2.8450 per pound.

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