(Reuters) – Futures for Canada’s commodity-heavy stock index rose on Friday, as a rise in gold prices and hopes of a pause in monetary tightening aided investor sentiment.
March futures on the S&P/TSX index were up 0.3% at 7:12 a.m. ET.
The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index closed at its highest in nearly two weeks on Thursday, underpinned by gains in technology and industrial shares.
Canada’s independent budgetary watchdog forecast that the Bank of Canada will hold rates at the current level of 4.5% till the year-end and will start cutting rates in January 2024, making the first major central bank to say it would likely “pause” monetary tightening.
Gold prices climbed to their highest in two weeks as a softer dollar made bullion cheaper for holders of other currencies. [GOL/]
Among stocks, Equinor said it would acquire the British oil and gas business of Canada’s Suncor Energy for $850 million.
Meanwhile, data showed home prices in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) rose in February from the previous month, but were down sharply on an annual basis, as borrowing costs climbed.
Investors now await January monthly building permits data later in the day, which is expected to rise 1.5% from a decline of 7.3% in the previous month.
Dow e-minis were up 95 points, or 0.29% at 7:12 a.m. ET, while S&P 500 e-minis were up 16.75 points, or 0.42%, and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 58.5 points, or 0.48%. [.N]
COMMODITIES AT 7:00 a.m. ET
Gold futures: $1,852.8; +0.7% [GOL/]
US crude: $77.98; -0.2% [O/R]
Brent crude: $84.53; -0.3% [O/R]
U.S. ECONOMIC DATA DUE ON FRIDAY
Feb S&P global composite final PMI data due 9:45 a.m. ET
Feb ISM manufacturing PMI data due 10:00 a.m. ET
FOR CANADIAN MARKETS NEWS, CLICK ON CODES:
TSX market report [.TO]
Canadian dollar and bonds report [CAD/] [CA/]
Reuters global stocks poll for Canada
Canadian markets directory
($1 = 1.3566 Canadian dollars)
(Reporting by Johann M Cherian in Bengaluru; Editing by Shilpi Majumdar)