Futures Stumble Friday

Aurora, Kirkland Lake in Focus

Canada's main stock index futures fell on Friday as oil prices came under pressure from rising tensions between the United States and China, after the largest Asian economy moved to impose a national security law on Hong Kong.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index finished Thursday negative 112.78 points, to 14,884.85.

The Canadian dollar subsided 0.32 cents early Friday to 71.37 cents U.S.

June futures tanked 0.5% Friday.

China is set to impose new national security legislation on Hong Kong after last year's pro-democracy unrest, a Chinese official said on Thursday, drawing a warning from U.S. President Donald Trump that Washington would react "very strongly" against the attempt to gain more control over the former British colony.

Jefferies cut the rating on Aurora Cannabis to underperform

National Bank of Canada cut the rating on Kirkland Lake Gold to sector perform from outperform

National Bank of Canada raised the rating on New Gold to outperform from sector perform

National Bank of Canada cut the rating on Yamana Gold to sector perform from outperform

On the economic ledger, Statistics Canada reported retail trade fell for the first time in five months, plunging 10.0% to $47.1 billion in March. This marked the largest drop on record and the lowest level since November 2016.


The TSX Venture Exchange dropped 2.12 points Thursday to 531.81.


U.S. stock futures rose slightly early Friday as Wall Street wrapped up a winning week.

Futures for Dow Jones Industrials advanced 45 points, or 0.2%, early Friday to 24,421.

Futures for the S&P 500 sailed 6.5 points, or 0.4%, higher at 2,943.50.

Futures for the NASDAQ Composite gained 3.5 points to 9,359.25.

The major averages remained on pace for solid weekly gains. The Dow was up more than 3% week to date. The 30-stock Dow was headed for its biggest one-week gain since the week of April 9. The S&P 500 has gained 3% this week while the NASDAQ Composite is up 3% in that time.

Futures cut their losses and gained as shares of Moderna, a maker of a coronavirus vaccine candidate, rose. Dr. Anthony Fauci told NPR Friday morning that the company’s vaccine data looked “promising.” Moderna rose 5% in pre-market trading.

Gains were capped on increasing tensions with China.

Overnight, China released draft legislation over new national security measures on Hong Kong after last year’s burst of anti-government protests in the city.

That law is expected to increase Beijing’s hold over Hong Kong. China also opted against setting a Gross Domestic Product target for 2020 as the coronavirus batters the second-largest economy in the world.

That proposal was unveiled after the Senate passed a bill earlier in the week that would potentially de-list Chinese stocks from U.S. exchanges.

Overseas, in Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 faded 0.8%, Thursday, while in Hong Kong, the Hang Sang index collapsed 5.6%.

Oil prices deleted $1.51 to $32.41 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices gained $5.90 to $1,727.80.