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Bay Street May Open Slightly Higher, But Weak Commodity Prices May Weigh

Canadian shares look headed for a slightly positive opening Monday morning, riding on upbeat U.S. non-farm payroll data. However, falling commodity prices may weigh on sentiment and limit market's upside.

Data from U.S. Labor Department on Friday showed employment in the U.S. spiked by much more than expected in the month of March. The data said non-farm payroll employment surged up by 916,000 jobs in March after climbing by an upwardly revised 468,000 jobs in February.

Economists had expected employment to jump by 647,000 jobs compared to the addition of 379,000 jobs originally reported for the previous month.

The Canadian market ended on a buoyant note on Thursday, led by gains in energy and materials shares shares as commodity prices rose sharply. The benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index moved steadily higher throughout the session before closing up 289.65 points or 1.5% at 18,990.32 a new record closing high.

Sandstorm Gold Ltd. (SSL.TO) announced that the company sold approximately 17,400 attributable gold equivalent ounces of gold and realized preliminary revenue of $31.0 million during the three months ended March 31, 2021, a record for the company. Preliminary cost of sales, excluding depletion for the three month period was $5.4 million resulting in cash operating margins of approximately $1,470 per attributable gold equivalent ounce, the company said.

Asian stocks ended mixed in thin holiday trading on Monday as traders reacted to rising Covid-19 cases around the world, signs of firm U.S. growth and rising bond yields.

The major European markets are closed for Easter Monday holiday.

In commodities, West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures are down $1.58 or 2.56% at $59.87 a barrel.

Gold futures are down $4.90 or 0.28% at 1,723.50 an ounce, while Silver futures are down $0.048 or 1.9% at $24.900 an ounce.

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