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Canadian Stocks Edging Higher In Afternoon Trade; Energy Sector is Best Performer

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Canadian stocks are up close to 30 points and near day highs mid-afternoon Thursday with shares of energy companies keeping the broader market in the black today, rising 1% as a group. Telecom stocks also are performing well while Industrial stocks are trading higher to a lesser degree, largely carried by a 5% advance for Aecon Group Inc. (ARE.TO) and a 3.8% gain for Genivar Inc (GNV.TO).

StatisticsCanada today reported Canadian industries operated at 80.7% of their production capacity during Q4, down slightly from the 81.1% in Q3, with the decline attributed to lower capacity utilization in the manufacturing sector.

Tech stocks are lower, including a 2%-plus decline for Blackberry Inc (BB.TO, BBRY), giving back part of yesterday's 8.1% advance that followed the smartphone-maker saying it secured an order for 1 mln new Z10 models from an "established partner." Shares may be pressured today by rival Samsung today debuting its new Galaxy S4 phone.

In other company news, Ballard Power Systems Inc. (BDP.TO, BLDP) is up nearly 13% at $1.39, earlier climbing to its best levels since last April at $1.48 after announcing a new deal with bus manufacturer Van Hool NV to equip 10 buses with its 150-kilowatt FCvelocity-HD6 fuel cell modules.

Once deployed, the 10-bus fleet operated by the Transit Authority in Aberdeen, Scotland, will be the largest of its kind in Europe.

BLDP and Van Hool previously announced a 21-unit agreement in December 2011, with 14 fuel cells shipped by the end of 2012. BLDP said it expects to ship another eight power modules to Van Hool through the end of 2013, with six of the units to be deployed in Aberdeen and the other two being used in Cologne, Germany.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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