Bay Street Headed For Positive Opening

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( - Canadian shares are likely to open higher on Friday, extending gains from previous session, tracking positive lead from European markets, higher crude oil prices and index futures.

Economic concerns, trade war tensions and U.S. political uncertainty may force investors to stay a bit cautious. Trading activity is likely to be thin as most of the traders are expected to stay away on the sidelines.

On Thursday, the benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index snapped a four-day losing streak and ended up 385.02 points, or 2.79%, at 14,165.21.

Ensign Energy Services Inc. (ESI.TO) and Trinidad Drilling Ltd. (TDG.TO) announced that Trinidad has commenced a change of control offer to purchase any and all of its outstanding Senior Notes due 2025, at a price in cash equal to 101% of the principal amount of the Notes repurchased plus accrued and unpaid interest.

Green Growth, the U.S. cannabis retailer is reported to have said on Thursday that it would make a hostile takeover bid for Aphria in an all-stock deal valuing the Canadian firm at C$2.8 billion. Green Growth would offer 1.5714 shares for each Aphria share, representing a premium of 45.5% over Aphria's closing price on the Toronto Stock Exchange on December 24.

In commodities, crude oil futures for February were up $0.25, or 0.57%, at $44.86 a barrel.

Natural gas futures for February were declining $0.133, or 3.75%, at $3.413 per million btu.

Gold futures for February were down marginally at $1,280.75 an ounce.

Silver futures for March were gaining $0.090, or 0.59%, at $15.400 an ounce, while Copper futures for March were up $0.040, or 1.5%, at 2.708 per pound.

Asian markets ended mostly higher on Friday, tracking Wall Street's gains on Thursday. Most of the markets across Europe were moving up sharply with investors picking up stocks, buoyed by U.S. markets' rebound in the previous session and on crude oil's rise.

On the economic front, reports on the Chicago purchasing managers' index for December and the National Association of Realtors' data on pending home sales for November will be out at 9:45 AM ET and 10 AM ET, respectively.

According to reports, data on trade balance and wholesale inventories, originally scheduled to be released today, will not be out due to the partial government shutdown.

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