Stocks Fall Amid U.S.-China Dispute

Cdn. Jobs, Housing Figures in Vogue

Futures for Canada's main stock index edged lower on Friday, as trade tensions between the United States and China remained unresolved, slowing global economic growth.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index lagged Wednesday’s close by 8.95 points to conclude Thursday trading at 15,703.36

The Canadian dollar eked up 0.05 cents at 75.17 cents U.S. early Friday

March futures drooped 0.2% Friday.

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Thursday he did not plan to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping before a March 1 deadline set by the two countries to achieve a trade deal.

RBC raised the target price on BCE to $60.00 from $59.00

KBW raised the target price on Intact Financial to $112.00 from $110.00

National Bank of Canada raised Saputo’s target price to $44.00 from $43.00

In the economic docket, Statistics Canada said the economy created 67,000 jobs in January, mostly among youth aged 15 to 24 and in the services-producing industries.

The unemployment rate increased 0.2 percentage points to 5.8% as more people looked for work.

Moreover, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation says the seasonally-adjusted annual rate came in at 207,968 units for the first month of the year compared with 213,630 in December.

Economists had expected an annualized pace of 205,000 for January

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange fell 5.64 points Thursday to 614.88

ON WALLSTREET

U.S. stock index futures were lower Friday, with market participants increasingly worried about a broadening global economic slowdown.

Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 135 points, or 0.5%, at 24,996.

Futures for the S&P 500 dipped 13.5 points, or 0.5%, to 2,690.50

NASDAQ futures slumped 52 points, or 0.8%, to 6,853.50

Market focus on Friday continued to be attuned to global trade developments, after President Donald Trump said he did not plan to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping before a March 1 deadline to reach a deal.

Trump's stance rattled investors hoping for a positive resolution to a long-running trade dispute between the world's two largest economies.
While Trump and Xi are still expected to meet eventually, there's too much work to do to flesh out a deal with China and prepare Trump for a high-stakes meeting with North Korea's Kim Jong Un. Trump's summit with Kim is set for February 27-28.

Overseas, in Japan, the Nikkei 225 plummeted 2% Friday, while in Hong Kong, the Hang Seng returned from a long holiday to fall 0.2%.

Oil prices retreated 15 cents to $52.49 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices gained $3.50 to $1,317.70 U.S. an ounce.