Positive Futures for TSX

Banks, Again, in Focus

Canada's main stock index futures rose on Thursday, helped by gains in oil prices ahead of a meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries where members are expected to agree on increasing production cuts.

The TSX Composite Index remained above water 5.16 points to finish Wednesday at 16,897.34

The Canadian dollar climbed 0.14 cents to 75.93 cents U.S. early Thursday

December futures were positive 0.2% Thursday.

TD Bank Group reported a 3.5% fall in fourth-quarter profit on Thursday, as Canada's second-biggest lender by market value was hurt by higher provisions for loan losses and a restructuring charge.

Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce reported quarterly profit that fell short of analysts' estimates, hurt by higher provision for bad loans and slower growth at its domestic banking business.

National Bank of Canada cut the target price on Dollarama to $51.00 from $52.00

Canaccord Genuity raised the target price on National to $72.50 from $68.50

Scotiabank cut the target price on Royal Bank of Canada to $114 from $117

On the economic slate, Statistics Canada said this country’s exports rose 0.8% in October, while imports increased 0.5%. As a result, Canada's merchandise trade deficit with the world narrowed slightly from $1.2 billion in September to $1.1 billion in October.

Later on this morning (10 a.m. EST), Western University’s IVEY Purchasing Managers Index rolls in for November.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange cleared breakeven by 1.38 points Wednesday to 539.70

ON WALLSTREET

U.S. stock index futures traded solidly higher in the pre-market on Thursday as Wall Street tried to build on its strong performance from the previous session.

Futures for the Dow Jones Industrials gained 68 points, or 0.3%, Thursday to 27,711

Futures for the S&P 500 added 7.25 points, or 0.2%, at 3,118.25.

The NASDAQ Composite tacked on 25.75 points, or 0.3%, to 8,321.

Kroger Company and Brown Forman are among the companies reporting earnings Thursday.

Investors monitored the latest developments around U.S.-China trade talks.

Chinese Commerce Ministry spokesman Gao Feng said Thursday the two sides remain in close communications regarding trade. Gao did not, however, give any details on how the negotiations were proceeding. He added that China "believes if both sides reach a phase-one agreement, relevant tariffs must be lowered."

Gao’s comments came after Bloomberg News reported Wednesday, citing sources, that both countries were inching closer to securing an agreement on the amount of tariffs that would be rolled back in a limited trade deal. President Donald Trump also said Wednesday that he believed trade talks with Beijing were going "very well."

The report, along with Trump’s comment lifted sentiment around trade and helped the major averages snap a three-day losing streak.

Overseas, in Japan, the Nikkei 225 regained 0.7% Thursday, while in Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index restored 0.6%.

Oil prices sprang up 25 cents at $58.68 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices took on $3.30 to $1,483/50 U.S. an ounce.