Futures for Canada's main stock index rose slightly on Thursday as hawkish signals from Canadian and U.S. central banks cleared some uncertainty over policy tightening this year, while rising oil prices supported energy stocks.
The S&P/TSX Composite managed to hold onto gains of 4.91 points, to finish the session Wednesday at 20,595.89.
The Canadian dollar docked 0.18 cents to 78.82 cents U.S.
March futures gained 0.4% Thursday.
RBC raised the target price on AG Growth International to $45.00 from $42.00
Citigroup raised the price target on Cenovus Energy to $21.00 from $17.00
ATB Capital Markets raised the target price on Enerflex to $12.50 from $12.00
On the economic calendar, Statistics Canada said the number of employees receiving pay or benefits from their employer rose by 37,200 (+0.2%) in November, the sixth consecutive monthly increase, bringing it to within 0.4% of its pre-pandemic level.
Moreover, The Bank of Canada will soon start hiking interest rates from record lows to combat inflation, Governor Tiff Macklem announced on Wednesday, saying the economy no longer needed help to deal with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The TSX Venture Exchange shaved off 0.92 points Wednesday to 846.29.
U.S. stock futures traded in a volatile manner Thursday morning as investors mulled over an update from the Federal Reserve on its rate hike plan.
Futures for the Dow Jones Industrials gained 87 points, or 0.3%, to 34,142.
Futures for the S&P 500 moved up 23.75 points, or 0.6%, to 4,364.25.
Futures for the NASDAQ hiked 109.5 points, or 0.8%, to 14,268.
McDonald’s shares fell 2.3% in pre-market trading after the fast-food chain’s fourth-quarter earnings missed Wall Street expectations. The company said higher costs weighed on profits. Intel lost 2.7% and Tesla was marginally lower in early morning trading despite strong earnings reports.
On the upside, Netflix jumped more than 4% on news that Pershing’s Bill Ackman bought 3.1 million shares.
A full slate of economic news is set for release Thursday morning, with fourth-quarter GDP, durable goods orders and weekly jobless claims due at 8:30 a.m. ET. Economists surveyed by Dow Jones expect the economy grew at a 5.5% annualized pace in the final three months of 2021. Jobless claims are expected to total 265,000 and durable goods are forecast to show a decline 0.6% in December.
Thursday morning’s rocky trading comes a day after the Federal Open Market Committee strongly indicated the first interest rate hike since late 2018 could come as soon as March.
Overseas, in Japan, the Nikkei 225 hurtled earthward 3.1% Thursday while the Hang Seng in Hong Kong lost 2%.
Oil prices gained 46 cents to $87.81 U.S. a barrel.
Gold prices slid $23.60 to $1,806.10 U.S. an ounce.