RTTNews - Energy stocks could lead Toronto's main index into positive territory on Wednesday morning. The index has posted modest declines in each of the last two sessions.

Crude oil has surged above $71 per barrel in NYMEX trading, which is likely to provide a boost to the key energy sector. Light sweet crude is up $1.32 at $71.33 per barrel.

Gold stocks could also recover some of yesterday's weakness as the precious metal is up about 1% to $964.00 an ounce. Copper prices are flat.

On the economic front, Statistics Canada reported the New Housing Price Index decreased 0.6 percent in April, compared with a 0.5% decline in March. This resulted in a New Housing Price Index decreasing to 153.7.

Separately, Stats Canada reported the nation's trade balance was a deficit of $179 million, compared to a $1 billion surplus expected by economists.

In corporate news, Forzani Group Ltd. (FGL.TO) reported first-quarter net loss of C$1.12 million or C$0.04 per share, compared to net loss of C$2.82 million or C$0.09 per share last year.

Meanwhile, the five unions of Air Canada (AC.B.TO) acquire a 10% stake in the company as the airliner looks to avert a strike, according to the Globe and Mail.

Quebecor World (IQW.TO) believes its restructuring plan is better than a sale to RR Donnelley for about US$1.56-billion, according to The Canadian Press.

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