Higher Futures to End Week

Air Canada, Hexo in Focus

Futures for Canada's main stock index edged higher on Friday on fresh hopes of a resolution to the trade dispute between the United States and China.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index dropped 62.42 points to conclude Thursday’s session at 16,087.55

The Canadian dollar fell 0.04 cents to 75 cents U.S. early Friday

June futures picked up 0.3% Friday.

Air Canada suspended its previous forecast for the first quarter and full year after Canada grounded Boeing's 737 MAX jets following a deadly crash in Ethiopia on Sunday.

Rising global debt is slowing economic growth and making Canada, and the rest of the world, more vulnerable to another period of financial instability, Bank of Canada Senior Deputy Governor Carolyn Wilkins said on Thursday.

A federal judge in Manhattan on Thursday dismissed a lawsuit by investors that accused nine large banks, including six from Canada, of conspiring to manipulate a Canadian rate benchmark to improve profits from derivatives trading.

Canaccord Genuity raised the price target on Hexo Corp. to $10.00 from $7.50

CIBC cut the price target on Premium Brands Holdings to $72.00 from $82.00

CIBC raised the price target on WSP Global to $81 from $77

On the economic front, Statistics Canada said manufacturing sales increased 1.0% to $57.1 billion in January, following three consecutive monthly decreases.

Higher sales in the food as well as the electrical equipment, appliance and component industries were the main contributors to the gains in January.

Elsewhere, the Canadian Real Estate Association was due out Friday morning with national home sales figures for February.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange docked 1.15 points Thursday to 623.07

ON WALLSTREET

U.S. stock index futures traded slightly higher on Friday morning, as investors monitored progress in U.S.-China trade talks and reacted to the latest Brexit developments.

Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average hiked 121 points, or 0.5%, at 25,864

Futures for the S&P 500 gained 12.5 points, or 0.4%, at 2,824.75

NASDAQ futures jumped 40 points, or 0.6%, to 7,307.25

Citi Trends and Kirkland’s Inc. are among the firms reporting earnings Friday.

In the U.S., investors will closely monitor a slew of economic data on Friday. Empire State manufacturing numbers are due at 08:30 a.m. ET, followed by industrial production numbers at 09:15 a.m. ET and consumer sentiment data at 10 a.m. ET.

Market focus is largely attuned to global trade developments, as sentiment improved on a report that more progress has been made in talks between the world's two largest economies.

Reports circulated Friday that Chinese Vice Premier Liu He spoke via telephone with U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer.

It comes after Mnuchin said on Thursday that a summit to secure a comprehensive trade agreement between President Donald Trump and Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping would not happen at the end of March as previously discussed.

Overseas, in Japan, the Nikkei 225 rallied 0.8% Friday, while in Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index advanced 0.6%

Oil prices dipped 14 cents to $58.47 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices picked up nine dollars to $1,304.10 U.S. an ounce.