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Bay Street Likely To Open Higher

Canadian shares are likely to open with a positive bias Friday morning, tracking firm European markets and higher crude oil prices.

The Canadian market ended modestly higher on Thursday, riding on strong gains in the materials section. The benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index ended with a gain of 47.20 points or 0.24% at 20,049.47, after scaling a low of 19,969.70 and a high of 20,081.06 intraday.

Intact Financial Corp. (IFC.TO) announced Friday that Scandi JV Co 2 A/S, which is co-owned by Intact and Tryg A/S, has entered into a definitive agreement to sell Codan Forsikring A/S's Danish business to Alm. Brand A/S Group. Under the terms of the agreement, Alm. Brand will acquire Codan for a total cash consideration of approximately 12.6 billion Danish krone or about $2.52 billion. Intact will receive 50% of the proceeds, being approximately 6.3 billion krone or about $1.26 billion, from the sale.

Asian stocks ended mixed on Friday, as U.S. bond yields eased despite data showing soaring U.S. consumer prices in May. Investors bet spiking inflation would be temporary and the Federal Reserve will maintain its ultra-loose monetary policies for some time.

European markets are up in positive territory with investors picking up stocks amid hopes that rising price pressures will be transitory and the Federal Reserve is unlikely to withdraw monetary support any time soon.

In commodities, West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for July are up $0.12 or 0.17% at $70.41 a barrel.

Gold futures are down $4.10 or 0.22% at $1,892.30 an ounce, while Silver futures are gaining $0.169 or 0.6% at $28.200 an ounce.

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