Canadian Stocks Poised For Modest Early Gains -- Canadian Commentary

By RTT News, 
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(RTTNews.com) - Canadian stocks look headed for a slightly higher start Tuesday, tracking gains in European markets.

Concerns about Ukraine could weigh on the market to an extent.

Investors are likely to tread cautiously ahead of the U.S. Federal Reserve's 2-day monetary policy meet that gets underway today.

Energy stocks may move up, tracking higher crude oil prices. Gold stocks are likely to stay sluggish due to weak bullion prices. Earnings reports will provide some direction to the market.

On Monday, the benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index closed marginally down at 14,530.91.

In corporate news, Suncor Energy Inc. (SU.TO) reported first quarter operating earnings of C$1.793 billion or C$1.22 per common share, higher than the C$1.367 billion or C$0.90 per common share last year.

Firstservice Corp (FSV.TO) reported adjusted EPS of $0.09 for the first quarter, compared to a loss of $0.20 in the prior year quarter.

Transalta Corp (TA.TO) said its first quarter comparable earnings before tax rose to $310 million, up $42 million from the same period last year.

Barrick Gold Corporation (ABX.TO) will be in focus. The Canada Pension Plan Investment Board is reportedly planning to vote against Barrick Gold Corp's new executive compensation plan.

In commodities, crude oil prices are higher, supported by lingering concerns about escalating tensions in Ukraine and worries about possible supply disruptions from Russia.

Investors are looking ahead to the official crude inventory data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, due on Wednesday. Meanwhile, the American Petroleum Institute's weekly oil report will be out later today.

Crude oil futures for June are up $0.49 or 0.49 percent at $101.34 a barrel.

Meanwhile, natural gas is down marginally at $4.799 per million btu.

Gold prices are lower. Gold futures for June delivery are down $9.00 or 0.69 percent at $1,290.00 an ounce.

Silver for July is down $0.216 or 1.10 percent at $19.403 an ounce. Meanwhile, copper is down $0.011 or 0.35 percent at $3.082 per pound.

In the currency market, the Canadian loonie is trading at 1.0973 against the U.S. dollar, up 0.52 percent from previous close.

On the economic front, Statistics Canada said average weekly earnings of Canadian non-farm payroll employees came in at $925 in February, little changed from $922 the previous month. Weekly earnings were up 2.3 percent on a year-over-year basis.

In economic news from the U.S., the S&P/Case-Shiller house price index for February will be out at 9 am ET. Economists expect the house price index to have increased a seasonally adjusted 0.7 percent month-over-month following a 0.8 percent increase in January.

The Conference Board will release its consumer confidence index for April at 10 am ET. The consensus estimate calls for an increase in the index to 83 from 82.3 in March.

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This article appears in: News Headlines

Referenced Stocks: ABX , SU

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