Downward Early Trading Foreseen

Bombardier, EXFO in Focus

Futures for equities in Canada’s largest market edged lower on Thursday as surging global coronavirus cases added to fears over the extent of the economic hit from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index finished Wednesday up 33.69 points to 15,629.19.

September futures lost 0.3% Thursday.

The Canadian dollar gained 0.08 cents to 74.05 cents U.S.

Federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau said Wednesday Canada's budget deficit is expected to hit $343.2 billion, the largest shortfall since the Second World War, due to record emergency aid spending in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Reports emerged Wednesday that France's Alstom SA will propose concessions to European regulators on Thursday, including the sale of a French rail factory, in an effort to win early antitrust approval for its planned purchase of Bombardier’s transportation unit.

BMO raised the target price on EXFO Inc. to $3.75 from $3.50

JP Morgan raised the target price on Canadian National Railway to $123.00 from $115.00.

In the economic docket, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation reported seasonally-adjusted housing starts in this country amounted to 211,681 in June, compared with a revised 195,453 units in May.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange jumped 13.14 points, or 2%, Wednesday to 664.80

ON WALLSTREET

Futures contracts tied to the major U.S. stock indexes were slightly lower early Thursday, only hours after the NASDAQ Composite clinched its 25th record close for 2020.

Futures for Dow Jones Industrials shed 53 points, or 0.2%, early Thursday, to 25,916.

Futures for the S&P 500 were unchanged at 3,163.50.

Futures for the NASDAQ moved forward 50 points, or 0.5%, to 10,712.25. Big tech continued to carry the broader market higher on during regular trading and again allowed the NASDAQ to outpace the S&P 500 and the blue-chip Dow.

Since last week’s close, the S&P 500 is up 1.3%, the Dow has improved 0.9%, and the tech-heavy NASDAQ has climbed 2.8%. The NASDAQ is up 29.7% over the last three months.

The latest edition of the U.S. Labor Department report on weekly jobless claims will be released Thursday morning.

The weekly figures provide Wall Street with critical insight on how many Americans continue to collect unemployment benefits, known as continuing claims.

Last week, Washington said initial jobless claims rose by 1.427 million in the final week of June. That marked the 15th straight week in which initial claims remained above one million.

Overseas, in Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 gained 0.4% Thursday, while in Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index increased 0.3%.

Oil prices dropped nine cents to $40.81 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices slid $6.40 to $1,814.20.