Tomahawk, WI 10/6/2011 (PennyPayDay) – Canadian stocks may extend gains at open Thursday amid firm commodities and encouraging cues from the global equity markets. Stocks across Asia ended higher overnight, while European markets were trading in positive territory as investors cheered news that European officials are strengthening efforts to shore up the euro zone's banking sector.
On Wednesday, the S&P/TSX Composite Index snapped its three-session losing streak to gain 279.30 points or 2.50 percent to 11,457.22.
The price of crude oil moved back above $80 Thursday morning amid rebounding global equities. Crude for November rose $0.81 to $80.49 a barrel.
The price of gold was firm near $1,650 as the U.S. dollar was flat versus a basket of currencies. Bank of America Merrill Lynch on Wednesday maintained its 12-month gold price target of $2,000 per ounce on continuing debt issues and growth constraints in developed economies. Gold for December edged up $0.50 to $1,642.10 an ounce.
In corporate news from Canada, natural gas firm Provident Energy increased its 2011 adjusted EBITDA guidance range to C$245 million to C$285 million from the previous range of C$210 million to C$250 million.
Airlines operator Air Canada said its September traffic rose 3.8 percent to 4.83 billion revenue passenger miles or RPMs from 4.66 billion RPMs in the same period last year.
Wireless Ethernet equipment provider DragonWave Inc. slipped to a loss in second quarter, reporting a net loss of $2.2 million or $0.06 per share, compared to net income of $1.2 million or $0.03 per share in the year-ago period. Analysts were expecting the company to report a loss of $0.21 per share for the quarter.
Aerospace and defense electronics product company Firan Technology Group reported that its third-quarter net earnings rose to C$0.3 million or C$0.02 per share from C$0.1 million or C$0.01 per share in the same quarter last year.
In economic news, Statistics Canada said municipalities issued building permits worth C$5.9 billion in August, down 10.4 percent from July, when permits were down only 0.37 percent. The value of permits fell in both the residential and non-residential sectors in August.
From south of the border, the U.S. Labor Department said new unemployment claims edged up in the week ended October 01. On a seasonally adjusted basis, the level of new claims came in at 401,000 for the week, an increase of 6,000 from the previous week's revised level of 395,000. Most economists had expected jobless claims to come in somewhat higher at about 410,000.
In economic news from euro zone, the European Central Bank left its key interest rates unchanged for a third consecutive month in line with economists' expectations
Meanwhile, the Bank of England unexpectedly decided to raise the size of quantitative easing by GBP 75 billion to GBP 275 billion. Policy makers also voted to hold the interest rate at 0.50 percent.