News Column

Higher open seen for TSX

August 7, 2014

BCE, Manulife in picture

Stock futures pointed to a higher opening for Canada's main stock index on Thursday, with September futures up 0.2%.

The S&P/TSX composite index gained 14.38 points to close Wednesday at 15,202.09.

The Canadian dollar dipped 0.09 cents to 91.50 cents U.S. early Thursday

Canadian Natural Resources reported a higher-than-expected quarterly profit, helped by a jump in product sales and an increase in prices across the board.

BCE posted a 6% increase in second-quarter profit, driven by higher advertising and subscriber fee revenue from its acquisition of TV and radio content producer Astral Media.

Manulife Financial said its second-quarter profit more than tripled due to a stronger performance by investments and other market-related factors, and Canada's biggest life insurer raised its dividend for the first time since 2009.

Air Canada posted a quarterly profit compared with a year-earlier loss, helped by a $41-million tax gain and strong performance at its low-cost carrier, Rouge.

Canaccord Genuity raised the rating on Cineplex to buy from hold.

On the economic front, Statistics Canada reported this morning that contractors took out building permits worth $8.0 billion in June, up 13.5% from May. The June hike was mainly due to higher construction intentions for institutional and industrial buildings in Quebec and commercial buildings in Alberta.

Western University's IVEY PMI is due out at 10 a.m.


The TSX Venture Exchange remained negative 2.13 points Wednesday to 992.79


It's shaping up to be another busy session Thursday.

Ahead of the opening bell, futures for the Dow Jones Industrials recovered 48 points, or 0.3%, to 16,443. Futures for the S&P 500 regained eight points, or 0.4%, to 1,922.75, and futures for the NASDAQ advanced 13.75 points, or 0.4%, to 3,882.50.

Bank of America has tentatively agreed to pay more than $16.5 billion U.S. in what would be the biggest ever settlement related to a mortgage securities fraud case.

However, no final agreement is expected to be announced this week as the details continue to be negotiated. The bank's shares edged up in pre-market trading.

A slew of companies are reporting earnings Thursday. Wendy's is one of the big names reporting before the opening bell, while CBS, News Corp. and game developer Zynga will report after the close.

The U.S Department of Labor posted weekly jobless claims at 8:30 a.m. ET. Then at 3 p.m., the Federal Reserve will release consumer credit data for June.

Russia has imposed a ban on imports of beef, pork, fruit and vegetables, poultry, fish, cheeses, and milk from Europe, the U.S., Australia, Canada and Norway in retaliation for Western sanctions.

The escalating trade war threatens Europe's fragile economic recovery and is hurting some companies. Shares in German defense contractor Rheinmetall fell 9% Thursday after it warned that Russian sanctions would hit 2014 earnings. Germany has canceled an export license for a big Rheinmetall contract with Russia.

The European Central Bank is highly unlikely to announce new measures to stimulate the economy at Thursday's meeting but may issue more words of comfort.

Oil prices gained 15 cents to $97.07 U.S. a barrel

Gold prices dipped 10 cents to $1,308.50 U.S. an ounce.

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Source: Baystreet Stock Market Update (Canada)

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