Futures Portend Strong End to Week

First Quantum, AGF in Focus

Futures in Canada’s largest equity market rose on Friday, as oil prices gained on rising Middle East tensions after a key Saudi Arabian supply hub was knocked out in an attack last weekend.

The S&P/TSX gained 59.48 points to close Thursday at 16,859.77

The Canadian dollar stepped back 0.07 cents to 75.37 cents U.S. early Friday

September futures climbed 0.3% early Friday.

Bloomberg reported Thursday that First Quantum Minerals is drawing preliminary takeover interest from global miners after losing half its value over the past five years.

TD Securities raised the price target on AGF Management to $7.00 from $5.50

RBC raised the target price on Cenovus Energy to $17.00 from $14.00

Cormark cut the rating on Baylin Technologies to market perform from buy

On the economic front, Statistics Canada reported retail sales advanced for the first time in three months, increasing 0.4% in July to $51.5 billion. Higher sales were reported in six of 11 sub-sectors representing 71% of retail trade.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange fell 0.69 points Thursday to 584.22

ON WALLSTREET

U.S. stock index futures were slightly higher Friday morning, pushing Wall Street closer to record highs set earlier this year.

Futures for the Dow Jones Industrials hiked 49 points, or 0.2%, early Friday to 27,127

Futures for the S&P 500 hiked 5.25 points, or 0.2%, at 3,013.25

NASDAQ Composite futures improved 19.5 points, or 0.3%, to 7,937.50

The Dow came into Friday’s session 1.1% removed from its all-time high while the S&P 500 was 0.7% below its record mark. The NASDAQ remained 1.9% away from its record.

The moves in pre-market trade come shortly after deputy trade negotiators from the U.S. and China resumed face-to-face talks for the first time in almost two months. The deputy-level trade talks are expected to help lay the groundwork for high-level negotiations early next month.

Roku shares reacted to initiated coverage by Pivotal Research Group with a sell rating on Friday, the agency saying it sees the streaming company’s stock falling 55% because it looks “overvalued despite the recent pullback.”

There are no major economic data reports expected on Friday.

Overseas, in Japan, the Nikkei 225 moved forward 0.2%, while in the Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index dipped 0.1%

Oil prices gained 59 cents to $58.72 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices picked up $2.10 to $1,508.30 U.S. an ounce.