Futures Point Up Thursday

WestJet, Cameco in Focus

Stock futures pointed to a slightly higher opening for Canada's main stock index on Thursday after the White House announced plans to offer Canada and Mexico a 30-day exemption from planned tariffs on steel and aluminum imports.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index slumped 72.58 points to close Wednesday at 15,742.61

The Canadian dollar removed 0.07 cents to 77.41 cents U.S. early Thursday

March futures made their way up 0.2% Thursday.

In corporate news - WeedMD and Phivida have entered into Joint Venture for cannabis-infused beverages. The new joint venture company, Cannabis Beverages Inc., will operate one of the first cannabis-infused beverage production facilities in Canada. The joint venture partnership will focus on manufacturing, marketing and distribution of cannabinoid-infused beverages for the medical and future adult-use cannabis markets.

WestJet Airlines said Chief Executive Gregg Saretsky is retiring immediately and would be succeeded by executive vice-president Ed Sims.

CIBC started coverage on Cameco Corp. with a neutral rating and $12 price target

Canaccord Genuity cut the price target on Franco-Nevada to $122 from $126.00

CIBC raised the rating on Obsidian Energy to neutral from underperform

Statistics Canada reported that Canadian municipalities issued $8.4 billion in building permits in January, up 5.6% following a 2.5% rise in December, due mostly to higher construction intentions for multi-family dwellings in Ontario.

The agency also reported that new house prices were unchanged for a second consecutive month.

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation said the trend in housing starts was 225,276 units in February, compared to 224,572 units in January.

The White House said Wednesday U.S. President Donald Trump plans to offer Canada and Mexico a 30-day exemption from planned tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, which could be extended based on progress in North American Free Trade Agreement talks

About 5% of Vancouver homes stood empty or underutilized in a city grappling with skyrocketing home prices and soaring rents, according to data released on Wednesday, making their owners subject to a so-called empty home tax.


The TSX Venture Exchange gave back 11.63 points, or 1.4%, Wednesday to 831.94


U.S. stock index futures rose slightly ahead of Thursday's open, as investors awaited more news surrounding the U.S.' tariff plans.

Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 34 points, or 0.1%, to 24,829

S&P 500 futures picked up 8.25 points, or 0.3%, to 2,731.50, while futures on the NASDAQ Composite gained 38.5 points, or 0.6%, to 6,963

Finisar Corporation is among a list of companies reporting earnings Thursday.

In the political space, announcements surrounding tariffs continue to keep investors on edge. On Wednesday, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said at a news briefing that President Donald Trump would likely formalize any details on his tariff proposals, including exemptions, later on this week.

Overseas, the European Central Bank is due to deliver its latest monetary policy decisions before the opening bell. The central bank is expected to remain cautious, in order to prevent any unwanted tightening of financing conditions.

Elsewhere in Asia, in Japan, the Nikkei 225 improved 0.5%, while in Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index took on 1%.

Oil prices moved up 12 cents to $61.27 U.S. per barrel.

Gold prices dipped $1.30 to $1,336.30 U.S. an ounce.