Futures Ease on Last Trading Day of May

Barrick, CIBC in Focus

Futures for stock markets in Canada’s largest centre fell on Friday, as investors awaited U.S. President Donald Trump's response to China tightening control over Hong Kong, which could worsen tensions between the world's top two economies.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index gave up earlier gains and finished downward 9.3 at 15,262.73

The Canadian dollar gained 0.3 cents early Thursday to 72.87 cents U.S.

June futures hesitated 0.4% Friday.

Barrick Gold Corp has offered an extra 15% stake in its Porgera gold mine in Papua New Guinea to local landowners, according to a letter from its CEO, in a bid to break an impasse with the national government over the mine's future.

Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce took a mark-to-market trading loss of $88.2 million in one day in March due mainly to volatility in the gold market, the bank said in its second-quarter earnings report on Thursday.

RBC cut the rating on BRP to sector perform from outperform

National Bank of Canada raised the target price on Hardwoods Distribution to $21.00 from $18.50

CIBC raised the target price on Vermilion Energy to $8.00 from $7.00

On matters macroeconomic, Statistics Canada’s industrial product price index fell 2.3% in April, mostly because of lower prices for refined petroleum products., while its raw materials price index decreased 13.4%, during the same month, primarily because of a drop in crude oil prices.

Our country’s gross domestic product fell 2.1% in the first quarter, owing to reduced household spending and widespread shutdowns of non-essential businesses in March, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

On a monthly basis, GDP dropped 7.2% in March, the largest monthly decline since the series started in 1961, as almost all industrial sectors were down.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange added 3.52 points to close Thursday at 544.62.

ON WALLSTREET

Stock futures slipped slightly early Friday morning as traders braced for an upcoming news conference on U.S.-China relations from President Donald Trump.

Futures for Dow Jones Industrials headed lower 114 points, or 0.5%, early Friday, to 25,343.

Futures for the S&P 500 sank 7.75 points, or 0.3%, to 3,030.25.

Futures for the NASDAQ Composite gained 17.75 points, or 0.2%, to 9,478.

The Dow and S&P 500 are up more than 2.7% each, week to date, while the NASDAQ has advanced 0.5%.

Trump said Thursday afternoon he would hold the news conference, knocking stocks down from solid gains. That announcement came after China approved a national security bill for Hong Kong that experts warn could endanger the city’s “one party, two systems” principle.

That principle allows for additional freedoms which mainland China residents don’t have.

Tensions between China and the U.S. have risen lately as Trump criticizes the Chinese government’s response to the coronavirus outbreak. U.S. lawmakers have also been critical of China increasing its stronghold over Hong Kong.

Futures also fell after Salesforce issued disappointing guidance for the second quarter. The company expects earnings ranging between 66 cents a share and 67 cents a share. Analysts expected earnings guidance of 74 cents per share. Salesforce shares dropped 4%.

Overseas, in Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 faltered 0.2%, Friday, while in Hong Kong, the Hang Sang index weakened 0.7%.

Oil prices nudged lower 70 cents to $33.01 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices triumphed $15.30 to $1,743.60.