Opening Promises Small Gains for TSX

Cenovus, CP in Focus

Equities in Canada’s largest market edged higher on Thursday, as oil and gold prices rose and investors were encouraged by strong earnings reports.

The TSX Composite index gained 57.05 points Wednesday to 20,230.40

The Canadian dollar gained 0.31 cents to 80.18 cents U.S.

September futures eked higher 0.2% Thursday.

Cenovus Energy raised its full-year production forecast and posted a near 2% rise in quarterly profit as crude prices returned to pre-pandemic levels.

Canadian Pacific Railway topped quarterly profit estimates, boosted by a recovery from the pandemic-led slump in freight volumes.

Scotiabank raised the rating on Air Canada to sector outperform from sector perform

Credit Suisse cut the rating on Mindbeacon Holdings to neutral from outperform

National Bank of Canada raised the target on Intact Financial to $212.00 from $207.00.

National then cut the rating on Real Matters to sector perform from outperform

On the economic slate, Statistics Canada said payroll employment fell by 257,500 (-1.6%) in May, with much of the decline concentrated in service industries in Ontario.

British Columbia is bringing back a mask mandate for the central region of the province amid a surge of COVID-19 cases in the area, less than a month after easing restrictions.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange reclaimed 9.98 points Wednesday to 908.79

ON WALLSTREET

U.S. stock futures were mixed in Thursday morning trade after the Federal Reserve signaled no imminent plans for dialing back asset purchases.

Futures for the Dow Jones Industrials popped 135 points, or 0.4%, to 34,969.

Futures for the S&P 500 pointed higher 9.25 points, or 0.2%, to 4,403.

Futures for the NASDAQ Composite Index dipped 3.75 points to 15,007.75.

The major averages are on track to end the month higher, with the S&P up 2.4% for July. The NASDAQ has progressed 1.8% and the Dow is up 1.2%.

PayPal dropped 5% and Facebook fell 3% in pre-market trading, after warning of significant growth slowdown as they reported quarterly earnings.

Meanwhile, shares of Ford jumped nearly 4% after it raised its 2021 outlook, saying it’s selling more cars that are more expensive, though it missed analysts’ estimates on earnings.

The moves in futures came after Fed Chairman Jerome Powell cautioned that, although the economy is making progress toward its goals, it has a ways to go before the central bank would actually adjust its easy policies.

Amazon, Pinterest and Anheuser-Busch are set to report earnings Thursday. Traders will also watch out for the latest readings on initial jobless claims and pending home sales.

Overseas, in Japan, the Nikkei 225 index improved 0.7%, while in Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index spiked 3.3%,

Oil prices gained 32 cents to $72.71 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices jumped $25.40 to $1,825.10 U.S. a pound.