TORONTO - The Toronto stock market looked set for a higher open amid a perception of lessening tensions between Ukraine and Russia and reassuring economic data from China.
The Canadian dollar was ahead 0.08 of a cent to 91.23 cents US.
U.S. futures were positive as traders felt more inclined to take on risk after Russia called an end to military exercises near Ukraine on Friday and withdrew troops to their bases.
The Dow Jones industrial futures were up 66 points to 16,545, the Nasdaq futures climbed 22.5 points to 3,896 while the S&P 500 futures were ahead nine points to 1,932.75.
Fighting raged in the city of Donetsk as Ukraine government forces closed in on the rebel stronghold and insurgents backed away from a cease-fire offer. There have been worries that Russia might directly intervene in Ukraine’s civil war if it appeared the pro-Russian rebels were in danger of being defeated.
There have also been worries about the effect of sanctions against Russia and counter sanctions, which could seriously damage a still fragile economic recovery in Europe.
Meanwhile, in Iraq, U.S. warplanes attacked Islamic State militants near the northern city of Irbil, capital of the Kurdish region, in hopes of limiting their advance and keeping them away from oil fields.
Meanwhile, China’s consumer price index in July stayed at 2.3 per cent, well below the official target for the year of 3.5 per cent. That gives the central bank room to ease access to credit if needed to shore up economic growth, which was 7.5 per cent in the latest quarter
On the corporate front, the group of oil and gas pipeline and storage companies controlled by Kinder Morgan but traded separately will combine and become the 4th biggest U.S. energy company by market value. Houston-based Kinder Morgan Inc. says the total purchase price of the three other companies is US$71 billion, including $27 billion of assumed debt.
In Canada, the flood of second quarter earnings reports slows markedly this week. On Monday, overnight air cargo services company Cargojet Inc. (TSX: CJT) reported a second-quarter net loss of $689,483, impacted by one-time start-up costs in the quarter related to a new contract and expansion of its overnight services. That's a loss of eight cents per diluted share, compared with a profit of $1.1 million, or 14 cents per diluted share, in the same quarter last year. Revenues were up 3.7 per cent to $44.3 million.
Traders will also take in a report from construction company Aecon (TSX:ARE) during the day.
Other reports this week include Cascades Inc. (TSX:CAS) and home improvement retailer Rona (TSX:RON) on Tuesday.
It is a relatively quiet week for economic data with the latest retail data for Canada and the U.S. being released. Investors will also take in the July read on Canadian inflation and U.S. consumer confidence data.
On the commodity markets, September crude on the New York Mercantile Exchange gained 16 cents to US$97.81 a barrel.
The positive news from China helped push September copper up a cent to US$3.18 a pound, while the increased appetite for risk pushed December gold down 40 cents to US$1,310.60 an ounce.