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Bay Street Likely To See Cautious Start

The Canadian stock market is likely to open on a cautious note on Thursday with investors looking for direction. Activity is likely to remain somewhat stock specific with earnings results in focus.

On the economic front, data on private sector employment for the month of January is due out at 8:30 AM ET. A report on new housing price index for the month of January is also due out at 8:30 AM ET.

The Canadian market ended notably lower on Wednesday after spending the entire session in negative territory. The benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index, down nearly 240 points at 18,254.30 a little before noon, recovered some lost ground, but still ended the day with a loss of 117.94 points or 0.64% at 18,374.78.

Teck Resources Ltd. (TCK_A.TO) reported fourth quarter adjusted earnings per share of C$0.46 compared to C$0.40, prior year. Adjusted profit attributable to shareholders increased to C$248 million from C$223 million, the company said.

MTY Food Group Inc. (MTY.TO) reported a net profit of $20.1 million or 81 cents per diluted share for the quarter ended Nov. 30, down from $20.7 million or 83 cents per diluted share a year earlier. Revenue dropped to $127.2 million in the fourth quarter, from $156.8 million a year ago.

Asian stocks ended lower on Thursday as largely upbeat U.S. economic data added to optimism about the economic recovery but also raised concerns about inflation.

European stocks are swinging between gains and losses as investors look for direction amid concerns about inflation. Activity is largely stock specific with earnings reports setting the trend.

In commodities, West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for March are up $0.32 or 0.52% at $61.46 a barrel.

Gold futures are rising $10.20 or 0.58% at $1,783.00 an ounce, rebounding from recent losses. Silver futures are down $0.090 or 0.33% at $27.225 an ounce.

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