Futures Flat Thursday

Aecon, RBC in Focus


Stock futures pointed to a flat opening for Canada's main stock index on Thursday, with oil prices slipping on concerns that the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries could raise output for the first time since 2016.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index docked 10.99 points to finish Wednesday at 16,133.80

The Canadian dollar dropped 0.28 cents to 77.6 cents U.S. early Thursday

June futures inched up 0.1% Thursday

Royal Bank of Canada posted an 11% rise in its second-quarter earnings, helped by strong growth at its wealth management and retail businesses.

Toronto-Dominion Bank on Thursday reported second-quarter earnings which were ahead of market expectations, benefiting from a strong performance at its domestic retail business.

Canada has blocked a proposed $1.51-billion takeover of construction company Aecon Group by a Chinese state builder on national security grounds, underscoring rising wariness of Chinese firms buying up assets in Western countries. RBC cut its price target on Aecon to $17.00 from $20.00

Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce: Barclays raises price target to $138.00 from $133.00

On the economic beat, Statistics Canada reported that in March, 471,500 people received regular Employment Insurance benefits, down 7,300 (-1.5%) from February. The agency says the decline continues a downward trend in the number of beneficiaries that began in the autumn of 2016.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange sank 6.83 points Wednesday to 781.02

ON WALLSTREET

U.S. stock index futures pointed to a lower open Thursday morning after news that the Trump administration is considering new tariffs on foreign automobiles.

Futures for the Dow Jones Industrials settled 56 points, or 0.2%, to 24,803

S&P 500 futures dropped 5.5 points, or 0.2%, to 2,725.25, while futures for the NASDAQ composite index fell 13.25 points, or 0.2%, to 6,943.75

Shares of electronics and technology retailer Best Buy fell more than 3% in pre-market trading Thursday morning after the company reported quarterly earnings. Though the company posted solid quarterly comparable sales and earnings, its online sales growth decelerated.

Domestic online comparable sales growth slowed to 12% growth in the U.S. from a year ago, compared to 22.5% growth.

In data, existing home sales data for April are due to be published at around 10 a.m. ET, followed closely by the Kansas City Fed manufacturing survey for May.

Uncertainty surrounding international trade returned to Wall Street Thursday after the Commerce Department said Wednesday night that it started an investigation into whether automobile imports "threaten to impair the national security" of the United States

The surprise announcement from the White House comes at a tenuous time for trade relations between the United States and its trading partners, including the European Union and China.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 dropped 1.1%, while in Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index strengthened 0.3% Thursday

Oil prices faded 93 cents to $70.91 U.S. per barrel.

Gold prices gained seven dollars to $1,296.60 U.S. an ounce.