RTTNews - Bay Street are looking at a flat open on Friday morning as Toronto's main index looks for its fifth positive session of the week. The market finished at a 2 1/2-week high on Thursday.

Investors will consider a report showing Canadian consumer prices dropped 0.3% in June compared with June 2008, following a 0.1% increase in May, according to data released Friday by Statistics Canada. Excluding energy, the CPI rose 2.1% in June. The results were in line with analysts expectations.

On the commodity front, crude oil is down 41 cents at $61.61, while gold and copper prices are little-changed.

Patheon (PTI.TO) announced that it has signed an agreement with EMCOR Facilities Services, a subsidiary of Emcor Group (EME) for facilities and energy management services at its three US plants including Cincinnati, Ohio, and Manati and Caguas, Puerto Rico.

Cargojet Income Fund (CJT_U.TO) announced it has acquired the remaining 49% interest in Prince Edward Air Ltd. for C$1.0 million. Cargojet had previously acquired a 51% interest in PEAL on May 1, 2008.

Western Canadian Coal Corp. (WTN.TO) announced it appointed Craig Dirk as Chief Operating Officer for its Canadian Operations.

Financials will also be in focus with U.S. giants Citigroup (C) and Bank of America (BAC) reporting earnings. Citigroup reported earnings per share of $0.49, compared to a loss of $0.55 in the prior year quarter, boosted by a one-time gain. BoA reported EPS of $0.33, compared to $0.72 in the year ago quarter.

Also across the border, the U.S. Commerce Department revealed that housing starts rose 3.6 percent to an annual rate of 582,000 units in June from a revised pace of 562,000 units in the previous month.

On Thursday, the S&P/TSX Composite Index added 88.96 points or 0.87% to settle at 10,304.42. This was the best close for the index in July.

For comments and feedback: contact editorial@rttnews.com