Bay Street Likely To Open With Positive Bias

Higher commodity prices point to a slightly positive start for the Canadian market on Friday.

Worries about the crisis in the banking sector have eased a bit following the troubled banks securing some lifelines, but the mood in the market is likely to remain cautious.

On the economic front, data on Canadian raw materials prices and producer prices for the month of February is due at 8:30 AM ET.

In earnings news, Algonquin Power & Utilities Corp. (AQN.TO) reported fourth quarter adjusted net earnings of $151.0 million, an increase of 10% over the net earnings it posted in the year-ago quarter.

The Canadian market ended on a firm note on Thursday as investors picked up stocks, reacting to some positive news such as a few big banks reportedly in discussion to rescue First Republic Bank, and Swiss lender Credit Suisse securing a lifeline from the Swiss National Bank.

The benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index ended with a gain of 160.17 points or 0.83% at 19,539.01, recovering from an early low of 19,155.77.

Asian stocks ended broadly higher on Friday as worries about a crisis in the U.S. and European banking sector eased and investors looked forward to a smaller rate hike from the Federal Reserve next week.

Credit Suisse Group received a liquidity lifeline from the Swiss National Bank and big U.S. banks put together rescue effort for First Republic Bank, easing worries over a possible spreading of risks throughout financial system.

European stocks are drifting lower after opening on a positive note. Despite the multi-billion-dollar lifelines for troubled U.S. and European banks, investors are largely making cautious moves.

In commodities trading, West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures are up $0.54 or 0.8% at $68.89 a barrel.

Gold futures are gaining $15.60 or 0.81% at $1,938.60 an ounce, while Silver futures are up $0.313 or 1.43% at $22.005 an ounce.

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