Futures Barely Budge Ahead of Further Powell Testimony

T-D, Crescent Point in Focus

Futures for Canada's main stock index were little changed on Thursday, as U.S. Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell is set to continue his testimony to lawmakers later in the day.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index plummeted 228.47 points, or 1.5%, to close Wednesday at 15,442.68

The Canadian dollar further retreated 0.17 cents to 77.74 cents U.S. Thursday morning.

March futures were down 0.04% Thursday.

Toronto-Dominion Bank reported first-quarter results which were ahead of market expectations, helped by a strong performance in the United States and Canada.

Canadian Natural Resources said its fourth-quarter profit beat estimates, boosted by higher oil production and higher prices.

Crescent Point Energy reported a smaller loss in the fourth quarter thanks to higher oil prices and production.

Husky Energy reported a higher quarterly profit on Thursday, led by corporate tax cuts in the United States.

Australia's competition regulator has raised concerns about a planned billion-dollar takeover of Murray Goulburn Co-operative by Canada's Saputo Inc, threatening a deal Australia's largest dairy processor says is key to its survival.

Aurora Cannabis on Wednesday received final regulatory approval for the purchase of smaller rival CanniMed Therapeutics, which would make Aurora the world's most valuable weed producer.

TD Securities cut the target price on Laurentian Bank of Canada to $58.00 from $64.00

Piper Jaffray cut the target price on Valeant Pharmaceuticals International to $10 from $12

Mexico's economy minister met with top U.S. trade officials on Wednesday midway through the latest push to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement, as concerns about steel added to tensions between the two countries.


The TSX Venture Exchange strengthened 13.94 points, or 1.7%, Wednesday to 829.12


U.S. stock index futures pointed to a lower open on Thursday, the first day of the month, adding to losses seen in the previous session

Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average slumped 109 points, or 0.4%, to 24,929

S&P 500 futures dipped 7.5 points, or 0.3%, to 2,707, while futures on the NASDAQ Composite dropped 16.25 points, or 0.2%, to 6,848.75

The GAP is among a spate of firms reporting earnings today.

Investors will also be watching for more corporations to change their stance on gun control, after a number of companies cut their partnership ties with the NRA.

On the data front Thursday, jobless claims reached their lowest level since 1969. Other data set for release include the manufacturing purchasing managers' index data at 9:45 a.m. ET; while the manufacturing ISM report on business and construction spending are due out at
10 a.m. ET.

Overseas, in Japan, the Nikkei 225 faded 1.6%, while in Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index gained 0.7%. European stocks also sank into the red Thursday afternoon

Oil prices fell 50 cents to $61.14 U.S. per barrel.

Gold prices stepped back $10.90 to $1,307.00 U.S. an ounce.