WHO Says Coronavirus Not Global Emergency, Futures Climb

Barrick, AMEX in Focus

Canada's main stock index futures rose on Friday after the World Health Organisation stopped short of calling the coronavirus outbreak in China a global emergency.

The TSX Composite Index acquired 21.92 points to close Thursday at 17,621.78

The Canadian dollar slid 0.04 cents to 76.12 cents U.S.

March futures improved 0.2% early Friday.

Tanzania signed agreements with Barrick Gold Corp which aim to end a long-running and costly tax dispute, giving the state a holding in three gold mines whose output is among the country's biggest export earners.

Nestle has teamed up with Canadian plant-based food ingredient makers Burcon and Merit to speed up innovation in the fast-growing business segment.

RBC raised the target price on CGI to $125.00 from $115.00

National Bank of Canada raised the target price on Exchange Income Corp. to $54.00 from $47.00

On the economic slate, Statistics Canada says retail sales in Canada rose 0.9% to $51.5 billion, largely offsetting the 1.1% decline in October.

The increase was primarily attributable to higher sales at motor vehicle and parts dealers and food and beverage stores, both of which were down in October.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange docked 2.98 points to conclude Thursday 582.38

ON WALLSTREET

U.S. stock index futures moved higher on Friday as the corporate earnings season rolled on with strong results from American Express while worries over the deadly coronavirus eased.

Futures for the Dow Jones Industrials hiked 88 points, or 0.3%, early Friday to 29,215.

Futures for the S&P 500 moved higher 7.75 points, or 0.2%, at 3,333.75.

Futures for the NASDAQ Composite spiked 29 points, or 0.3%, to 9,277.25.

American Express reported a quarterly profit and revenue that beat analyst expectations. Those results were driven in part by strong card fee revenues. The stock gained more than 2% in the pre-market.

More than 16% of the S&P 500 has released quarterly results thus far. Of those companies, about 70% have reported better-than-expected earnings

However, stocks have been subdued this week by fears of the China coronavirus spreading, with the death toll rising to 26 and the number of confirmed cases increasing to 830. The S&P 500 and Dow entered Friday’s session on pace for their first weekly loss of the year while the NASDAQ was barely higher week to date.

Meanwhile in economic data, manufacturing figures for January are due for later this morning.

Overseas, in Japan, the Nikkei 225 crept up 0.1% Friday, while in Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index increased 0.2%

Oil prices stepped back 12 cents to $55.47 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices staggered $7.90 to $1,557.50 U.S. an ounce.