Losses in Oil Markets Make Presence Felt on TSX Futures

Cenovus, Rogers in Focus

Stock futures pointed to a lower opening for equities in Toronto on Thursday, tracking losses in oil markets as traders took profit amid tensions in Iraq and growing U.S. inventory.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index saw its recent win streak cool off a mite, and dropped 34.74 points to close Wednesday at 15,782.16

The Canadian dollar inched up 0.03 cents at 80.26 cents U.S. Thursday morning.

December futures plunged 0.4% Thursday morning.

Cenovus Energy said on Thursday it will sell its Palliser crude oil and natural gas assets in southeastern Alberta to Torxen Energy and Schlumberger Ltd for $1.3 billion to lower its debt load.

Rogers Communications Inc's quarterly profit more than doubled, helped by strength in its wireless unit, as it added the highest number of postpaid subscribers in eight years.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau defended his finance minister on Wednesday amid criticism that Bill Morneau did not place his assets in a blind trust, moving to dampen a growing controversy that threatens to overshadow the government's agenda.

National Bank of Canada upped the target price on Canadian Pacific Railway to $226

Desjardins started coverage on GDI Integrated Facility Services with a buy rating

Desjardins initiated coverage on Lassonde Industries with a buy rating, and $275 target price

On the economic beat, Statistics Canada came out with employment insurance figures for August, and revealed that the number of beneficiaries decreased by 9,600, or 1.8%, to 524,200 in August, continues a downward trend that began last October.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange faded 6.39 points by the end of Wednesday to 786.82

ON WALLSTREET

U.S. stock index futures pointed to a sharply lower open Thursday, as investors braced for a pullback from record levels. Wall Street also tried to shake off negative sentiment coming from the European political space.

Futures for the Dow Jones Industrials fell 94 points, or 0.4%, to 23,020. Shares of Dow-component Nike fell 1.9% in the pre-market after analysts at Goldman Sachs downgraded the stock to neutral from buy. The Dow rose sharply on Wednesday to close above 23,000 for the first time.

S&P 500 futures slid 11.25 points, or 0.4%, to 2,548.75, while futures on the NASDAQ Composite index faltered 36.5 points, or 0.6%, to 6,082.75.

The pullback in the futures market took place exactly 30 years after "Black Monday," the worst day in the history of the U.S. stock market.
On that day, the S&P 500 plunged 20.5% and the Dow dropped 22.6%.

Switching back to the States, in data news, jobless claims and the Philadelphia Fed manufacturing business outlook survey are both expected to be published early this morning.

Overseas, European stocks went sharply lower approaching noon on the continent Monday, while Japan’s Nikkei 225 gained 0.4%, while in Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index stumbled 1.9%

Oil prices skidded 74 cents to $51.30 U.S. per barrel.

Gold prices improved $4.20 to $1,287.20 U.S. an ounce.