Futures Flat on Weaker Oil Prices

Banks Come to Fore

Futures for Canada's main stock index were virtually unchanged on Thursday, as oil prices slipped on concerns over a surge in coronavirus cases and the impact of tighter economic restrictions around the globe on fuel demand.

The TSX faltered 58.24 points to end Wednesday at 16,889.82.

The Canadian dollar slid 0.08 cents Thursday at 76.34 cents U.S.

December futures gave back 0.03% Thursday.

CIBC raised the rating on Bank of Montreal to outperform from neutral.

CIBC cut the rating on National Bank of Canada to neutral from outperform.

CIBC cut the rating on Royal Bank of Canada to neutral from outperform.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange tumbled 11.85 points, or 1.6%, Wednesday to 726.38.

ON WALLSTREET

U.S. stock futures traded slightly lower early Thursday on the heels of a market slide a day earlier as a recent rally lost steam.

Futures for the Dow Jones Industrials backtracked 21 points, or 0.1%, to 29,370.

Futures for the S&P 500 nicked back 1.25 points at 3,563.75.

Futures for the NASDAQ Composite lost 20 points, or 0.2%, to 11,877.

Futures were off their lows, however, after the release of preliminary data showed University of Oxford and AstraZeneca’s vaccine candidate triggered a similar immune response among all adults.

The slide for stocks accompanied mixed news about the coronavirus crisis. On Wednesday morning, Pfizer announced that a final analysis showed that its vaccine candidate was 95% effective against Covid-19. However, New York City announced during the afternoon that it was closing schools due to a rising positivity rate.

Thursday morning will bring another look at how the labour market recovery is faring amid rising cases of Covid-19. Economists surveyed by Dow Jones expect the reading for initial jobless claims to come in at 710,000, roughly flat compared with the prior week.

Overseas, in Japan, the Nikkei 225 index faded 0.4% Thursday, while in Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index lost 0.7%.

Oil prices sank 24 cents to $41.58 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices $12.20 to $1,861.70 U.S.