Stocks could open higher on inflation figures

Retail sales also in picture

Futures pointed to a higher opening for Canada's main stock index on Friday, boosted by a rise in oil prices and ahead of key economic data.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index traveled 61.85 points higher to conclude Thursday at 16,211.77

The Canadian dollar fell 0.11 cents to 77.38 cents U.S. early Friday

September futures inched up 0.06% Friday

Canada and the United States showed scant sign on Thursday of closing a deal to revamp the North American Free Trade Agreement, and Canadian officials made clear Washington needed to withdraw a threat of possible auto tariffs, sources said.

IA Securities starts coverage on Surge Energy with buy rating and price target $4.00

On the economic calendar, Statistics Canada reported that the consumer price index rose 2.8% in the 12 months leading up to August, following a 3.0% increase in July. On a seasonally-adjusted monthly basis, the CPI was up 0.1% in August, after increasing 0.5% in July.

Retail sales rose 0.3% to $50.9 billion in July on higher sales at food and beverage stores and gasoline stations. Excluding the lower sales at motor vehicle and parts dealers, retail sales increased 0.9%.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange hiked 5.3 points Thursday to 719.75

ON WALLSTREET

U.S. stock index futures posted solid gains ahead of Friday's open, extending the positive run seen in the previous session on Wall Street.

Futures for the Dow Jones Industrials added 20 points, or 0.1%, to 26,747

S&P 500 futures slid 0.75 points to 2,938.75, while futures for the NASDAQ composite poked up 0.75 points to 7,609.50.

Both the Dow and S&P achieved record highs Thursday.

While no corporate earnings are due Friday, individual stocks news will likely keep investors alert. Twenty-First Century Fox and Comcast are heading for an auction this weekend to settle a takeover bid for British broadcaster Sky. The bidding procedure is due to kick off Friday evening and end on Saturday.

Trade tensions between the U.S. and China continue to rattle investors after both inflicted fresh tariffs on one another earlier this week. China's commerce ministry said Thursday that it hoped the States would show sincerity in trade negotiations.

Also Thursday, the U.S. administration inflicted sanctions on the Chinese military for purchasing missile systems and fighter jets from Russia.

Data due Friday includes the latest flash U.S. composite purchasing managers' index figures, scheduled for publication at 9:45 a.m. ET.

Overseas, in Japan, the Nikkei 225 gained 0.8% Thursday, while in Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index vaulted 1.7%.

Oil prices improved 56 cents at $70.88 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices slid $2.20 to $1,209.10 U.S. an ounce.