Canadian stocks opened higher amid stronger than expected financial results from smartphone maker BlackBerry Ltd. and expectations that China will move to counter its economic slowdown.The S&P/TSX composite index moved ahead 58.84 points to 14,237.68, while the Canadian dollar fell 0.05 of a cent to 90.60.BlackBerry reported a loss of US$423 million or 80 cents per share for its latest quarter compared with a profit of $98 million or 19 cents per diluted share a year ago.However, excluding several one-time items, BlackBerry (TSX:BB) said it had an adjusted loss from continuing operations of $42 million or eight cents per share for the quarter. Analysts on average had expected a loss of 55 cents per share, according to estimates compiled by Thomson Reuters. Its shares rose more than three per cent, or 32 cents, to $10.28 at the open.Wall Street was also positive as the Dow Jones industrials gained 61.08 points to 16,325.31, the Nasdaq rose 16.96 points to 4,168.19 and the S&P 500 index jumped 8.2 points to 1,857.16.Meanwhile, expectations have risen on whether more stimulus will be pumped into China, as that country saw its growth slowed to its weakest level since the financial crisis. In commodities, oil gained 80 cents to $102.08, while gold prices lost ground with the June contract faded $6.20 to US$1,288.80 an ounce. May copper rose 5 cents to US$3.04 a pound.
UN Special Rapporteur Ambeyi Ligabo, Freimut Duve, the Representative of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe on the freedom of the media, and Eduardo Bertoni, the Special Rapporteur of the Organization of American States on the freedom of expression, issued a joint statement yesterday condemning attacks on journalists and the impunity enjoyed by the perpetrators of such abuses.The experts also recognized the interdependence of a free media and an independent judiciary, and stressed that concentration in ownership of the media and the means of communication might challenge editorial independence. In addition, their statement condemned criminal defamation as an unjustifiable restriction to freedom of expression.The statement came at the conclusion of their meeting in London from 9 to 10 December to discuss challenges to freedom of speech and the media. The gathering was the fourth since 1999 organized by Article 19, a free-speech advocacy group.