TSX Poised For Lackluster SessionToronto stocks may witness a lackluster session Friday amid mixed cues from the global equity and commodities markets. Meanwhile, latest data revealed that the inflation remained tame in September, signaling that the Bank of Canada would stay pat on key interest rates for the near future.
Traders might turn cautious ahead of the weekend meeting by the finance ministers and central bank governors from the Group of 20 rich nations in South Korea to discuss reforms to the global economy.
On Thursday, the S&P/TSX Composite Index shed 50.69 points or 0.40% to 12,599.23. Energy stocks may be under the radar after Schlumberger Ltd. said it earnings soared to $1.73 billion or $1.38 per share. Excluding one-time items, earnings per share came in at $0.70, beating consensus estimates by $0.01 per share.
The price of crude oil moved back above $81 amid a relatively flat U.S. dollar ahead of the weekend G20 meeting. Crude for December was up $0.75 to $81.31 a barrel. The price of gold was trading flat Friday morning heading for its first weekly loss in six. Gold for December edged up $0.40 to $1,326.00 an ounce.
In a major M&A deal, construction and mining equipment maker Caterpillar Inc. said it would buy German engine maker MWM Holding GmbH, from private-equity firm 3i for about US$810 million, in cash.
Potash Corp. may be in play after Canada indicated that it will not back BHP Billiton's hostile bid for the Canadian fertilizer maker. In a speech delivered to business leaders in Regina on Thursday, Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall said Potash Corp. is a strategic Canadian asset and noted that no promises of cash or other benefits will convince the province to back a hostile bid from Australia's BHP Billiton.
In corporate news from Canada, transportation company Bombardier Inc. said it got a firm order for a Global 7000 jet, valued at about $65 million from London Air Services. The company also revealed that it signed a framework agreement with Israel Railways for the delivery of double-deck coaches, valued at about $185 million. Separately, the company said it had priced its offering of EUR780 million aggregate principal amount of new senior notes.
Telecommunications company Shaw Communications reported lower fourth-quarter net income of C$122 million or C$0.28 per share, down from C$124 million or C$0.29 per share for the same period last year. The company said that it plans to invest about C$200 million during 2011 on its Wireless initiative.
Gold and base-metals miner Foran Mining said it would consolidate 100% ownership of the McIlvenna Bay deposit by purchasing the 25% interest of Copper Reef Mining Corporation.
In economic news, Statistics Canada said consumer prices rose 1.9% in the 12 months to September, following a 1.7% increase in August. Core consumer prices, which exclude volatile energy prices, were up 1.5% in September. The results were roughly in line with economist expectations.
Separately, the agency said retail sales increased 0.5% in current dollars to C$36.1 billion in August after flat sales the previous two months. Gains were reported in 6 of 11 subsectors representing 70% of total retail sales. In volume terms retail sales rose 0.3%.