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Bay Street Likely To Open On Weak Note

Lower crude oil and gold prices point to a slightly negative start for the Canadian stock market Friday morning.

Investors are also likely to react to the data on Canadian retail sales for the month of December.

Data from Statistics Canada showed retail sales in the country decreased 3.4% in December over the previous month. In November, retail sales had surged 1.3%. Sales were expected to drop by 2.5% in December.

Retail sales ex-autos, fell 4.1% month-on-month in December, the data showed.

The Canadian market ended lower on Thursday, extending losses to a second session. The benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index, which fell to a low of 18,207.20 early on in the session, ended with a loss of 100.71 points or 0.55% at 18,274.07.

CGI Inc. (GIB.A. TO) said it has signed a deal to buy back and cancel 4.2 million of its class-A subordinate voting shares from the Caisse de depot et placement du Quebec for $400 million. CGI said it will pay $95.13 per share, a slight discount to the stock's closing price of $98.07 on Thursday.

Enerplus Corporation (ERF.TO) reported a fourth quarter net loss of $204.2 million or $0.92 per share, compared to a net loss of $429.1 million or $1.93 per share, in the fourth quarter of 2019.

Asian stocks ended mixed on Friday as weak U.S. data released overnight as well as renewed concerns about rising inflation dented hopes of a swifter economic recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic.

European stocks are up in positive territory with investors reacting to earnings news and a mixed batch of economic data.

In commodities, West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures are down $1.03 or 1.7% at $59.49 a barrel.

Gold futures are down $3.10 or 0.17% at $1,771.90 an ounce, while Silver futures are rising $0.143 or 0.52% at $27.221 an ounce.

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