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Bay Street Seen Opening Higher

Canadian shares are likely to open higher Friday morning, tracking positive global cues and higher bullion prices.

Optimism about economic recovery and upbeat results from some top U.S. companies are likely to help keep sentiment positive. Concerns about rising coronavirus cases in Asia and parts of Europe, and slowdown in vaccination may limit market's upside.

Data from Statistics Canada showed wholesale sales in Canada decreased to -0.4% in February from 4% in January.

Another data from Statistics Canada showed new motor vehicles sales in the country rose to 119,000 in February, after coming in at 96,475 in the previous month.

The Canadian market hit fresh record high on Thursday, riding on gains in technology, materials and real estate shares. The benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index ended with a gain of 150.26 points or 0.78% at 19,321.92, slightly off a fresh intraday high of 19,337.17.

PepsiCo Foods Canada and Maple Leaf Foods Inc. (MFI.TO) have entered into an exclusive partnership for PepsiCo Foods Canada to distribute Schneiders Pepperettes snack size premium meat sticks in Canada. PepsiCo Foods Canada will sell, distribute and merchandise Schneiders Pepperettes snack size premium meat sticks in grocery, convenience and gas, and foodservice outlets across Canada.

Asian stocks ended higher on Friday as strong U.S. and Chinese economic data cemented expectations of a solid global economic recovery. However, the upside was limited due to concerns about the continuing surge in coronavirus cases in the region and likely restrictions on economic activity in several countries.

European stocks are up in positive territory with strong data out of the United States and China boosting hopes for a swift economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.

In commodities, West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures are up $0.08 or 0.13% at $63.54 a barrel.

Gold futures are rising $14.70 or 0.82% at $1,781.50 an ounce, while Silver futures are up $0.301 or 1.15% at $26.265 an ounce.

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