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Futures On the Upside

Manulife, Dundee in Focus

Futures for Canada's main stock index gained on Thursday, tracking higher prices of base and precious metals, while investors awaited domestic and U.S. economic data for any signs that could influence the central banks' interest rates policy.

The TSX Composite popped 304.43 points, or 1.5%, to conclude Wednesday at 20,889.40.

March futures gained 0.4% Thursday.

The Canadian dollar eked up 0.03 cents to 73.89 cents U.S.

Focus is also on corporate earnings from gold miner Agnico Eagle Mines and asset manager IGM Financial, among others.

Manulife Financial beat analysts' estimate for quarterly core earnings on Wednesday.

Dundee Precious Metals also topped estimates for fourth-quarter adjusted profit.

On the economic front, January housing starts totaled 223,600, compared to 249,000 in the prior-year month, the Canadian Real Estate Association said MLS sales rose 3.7% between December 2023 and January 2024, building on the 7.9% month-over-month increase recorded the month prior.

StatsCan said manufacturing sales fell 0.7% in December, mainly on lower sales of motor vehicles and chemical products.


The TSX Venture Exchange recouped 11.03 points, or 2.1%, Wednesday to 548.23.


Stock futures rose Thursday as Wall Street looked to build on a modest rebound with key economic data on deck.

Futures for the 30-stock index took on 53 points, or 0.1%, to 38,547.

Futures for the S&P 500 inched up 4.25 points, or 0.1%, at 5,022.25.

Futures for the NASDAQ rallied 14.5 points, or 0.1%, to 17,895.50.

Earnings season continues to paint a muddled picture of corporate America. Cisco shares were down 5% in pre-market trading after the tech company announced layoffs and weak forward sales projections. Tripadvisor jumped 6% after beating estimates on the top and bottom lines.

Fast-food company Shake Shack is scheduled to report earnings before the bell Thursday.

Investors will get another update about the state of the U.S. economy on Thursday, with January retail sales and weekly unemployment claims data due out before the opening bell on Wall Street.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 hiked 1.2% to finish above 38,000 for the first time since 1990, while Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index improved 0.4%.

Oil prices dipped 0.15 cents to $76.49 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices gained $6.40 to $2,010.70 U.S. an ounce.