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TORONTO, Feb 26 (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock market index may open higher on Friday as firm gold and oil prices prop up the commodity-heavy index.
Investors will also take time to digest the latest economic data that is expected to show that Canada’s current account deficit shrank to C$8.50 billion in the fourth quarter from a record C$13.12 billion in the third quarter.
Data in the United States includes fourth-quarter gross domestic product and the National Association of Realtors existing home sales for January.
Toronto’s main stock index closed higher on Thursday after a three-day slide as stronger than expected bank earnings and a firm gold price lifted two of the index’s biggest sectors.[ID:nN25126845]
Here is some of the news that may affect the market.
Gold prices rose in Europe on Friday, supported by a rebound in the euro versus the dollar after the previous session’s weakness, but traders were cautious ahead of a raft of U.S. data due later in the day.[ID:nGEE5B00LA]
Oil held around $78 a barrel on Friday after sliding more than 2 percent the day before as traders mulled recovery prospects for the United States, the world’s top energy consumer, ahead of economic data. [ID:nSGE61P08B]
Canadian private-equity firm Onex Corp OCX.TO swung to a fourth-quarter profit, and said it was well positioned to take advantage of investment opportunities.[ID:nSGE61O0NK]
Vale VALE5.SA will hold “exploratory” talks with union x leaders representing striking workers at the company’s Sudbury, Ontario, nickel operations, the first signs of movement in a strike that began last July.[ID:nN25119596]
Canadian gold and uranium producer First Uranium Corp FIU.TO on Friday said it was experiencing severe financial constraints and its board was continuing to review strategic alternatives.[ID:nLDE61P09J]
Canadian pure molybdenum producer Thompson Creek Metals Co Inc TCM.TO reported better-than-expected quarterly profit on a gain on an accounting change and a 19 percent fall in costs.[ID:nSGE61O0OC]
Packaging and paper-products company Cascades Inc’s (CAS.TO) quarterly profit beat market estimates, as a drop in costs offset a fall in sales, but warned of its profitability being pressured in the short term.[ID:nSGE61L0KL]
The cost of a 100,000-barrel-per-day expansion of Royal Dutch Shell Plc’s (RDSa.L) Athabasca oil sands project has climbed to $14.3 billion, Chevron Corp (CVX.N), one of its partners, said in a filing.[ID:nN25250615]
Label and package maker CCL Industries Inc (CCLb.TO) posted an adjusted quarterly profit that beat expectations, driven mainly by strong performance in its label and tube divisions, raised dividend, and said first-quarter outlook remained positive on improved demand.[ID:nSGE61O0OB]
Following is a summary of research actions on Canadian companies reported by Reuters on Friday. [RCH/CA]
* UBS raises CIBC (CM.TO) price target to C$78 from C$77; Rating Buy
* RBC raises Lundin Mining Corp (LUN.TO) price target to C$6.25 from C$5.80; Rating Outperform
* CI Capital raises Bombardier (BBDb.TO) price target to C$7.50 from C$7; Rating Outperform
* TD Newcrest raises Tim Hortons Inc THI.TO price target to C$33 from C$32; Rating Hold ($1=$1.06 Canadian) (Reporting by Scott Anderson; Editing by Theodore d’Afflisio)