Stocks to Start out Lower

Barrick, Hudbay in Focus

Stock futures pointed to a lower opening for Canada's main stock index on Thursday as oil prices fell, under pressure from high global inventories and a smaller-than-expected drawdown in U.S. crude stockpiles.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index came off its highs of the day, but still ended positive 115.23 points Wednesday at 14,783.06

The Canadian dollar slipped 0.09 cents at 74.81 U.S. early Thursday

December futures sank 0.2% Thursday.

Barrick Gold has made progress in talks with the Tanzanian government to resolve a nearly two-year-long tax dispute, but sources say it is premature to say a deal has been reached.

CIBC cuts price target on Acadian Timber to $17.00 from $20.00

RBC cut the rating on Hudbay Minerals to sector perform from outperform

On the economic front, Statistics Canada’s new housing price was unchanged on a national basis for a third month in a row. In October, new home buyers in 16 of the 27 census metropolitan areas surveyed saw flat or lower prices.

Prices at the national level have remained largely unchanged since November 2017.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange spent much of Wednesday in positive country, but turned lower 1.89 points by the closing bell to 562.25.

ON WALLSTREET

U.S. stock index futures were slightly higher Thursday as investors digest the recent market volatility and developments surrounding the U.S.-China trade war.

Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average improved 56 points, or 0.2%, to 24,622.

Futures for the S&P 500 gained 7.75 points, or 0.3%, to 2,660.25,

NASDAQ futures hiked 40.25 points, or 0.6%, to 6,809.25.

General Electric shares jumped more than 8% in the pre-market after J.P. Morgan analyst Stephen Tusa, a longtime bear on the company, upgraded GE. The analyst cited a more “balanced risk reward at current levels.”

Market participants are gradually becoming more optimistic about the prospect of the U.S. and China reaching a comprehensive trade agreement. It follows a flurry of news this week pointing to cooling tensions between the two global powers.

On Wednesday, media reports circulated that Chinese state-owned companies had bought more than 1.5 million tons of U.S. soybeans. It was the first major U.S. soybean purchases in more than six months, and the clearest sign to date that China plans to step up efforts to support its slowing economy.

Overseas, in Japan, the Nikkei 225 gained 1% Wednesday, while in Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index vaulted 1.3%

Oil prices faded 40 cents to $50.75 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices dipped two dollars to $1,249.90 U.S. an ounce.