February 18, 2016 / 12:31 PM / 2 years ago

CANADA STOCKS-Futures gain as crude oil rally continues

Feb 18 (Reuters) - Stock futures suggested a higher opening for Canada’s main stock index on Thursday as oil prices gained after Iran welcomed plans to freeze output and an industry report showed a surprise drop in U.S. inventory last week.

American Petroleum Institute, an industry group, said U.S. crude stocks unexpectedly fell by 3.3 million barrels last week.

March futures on the S&P TSX index were up 0.66 percent at 7:30 a.m. ET.

Wholesale trade data is due at 8:30 a.m. ET

The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index scored a six-week high on Wednesday, led by financial and energy stocks after crude oil prices surged on supply freeze optimism.

Dow Jones Industrial Average e-mini futures were up 0.42 percent at 7:15 a.m. ET. S&P 500 e-mini futures were up 0.38 percent and Nasdaq 100 e-mini futures were up 0.58 percent. (Morning News Call newsletter link.reuters.com/nex49s; The Day Ahead newsletter link.reuters.com/mex49s)

TOP STORIES

Bombardier is in talks with more potential buyers including United Airlines after winning a lifeline $3.8 billion order for its struggling CSeries jet from Air Canada , its sales chief said on Thursday.

Barrick Gold Corp , the world’s largest gold producer, on Wednesday cut its 2016 total gold production forecast and cost per ounce of the metal amid a continued slump in prices.

COMMODITIES AT 7:15 a.m. ET

Gold futures : $1,202.00; -0.75 pct

US crude : $31.61; +3.10 pct

Brent crude : $35.38; +2.55 pct

LME 3-month copper : $4,567.00; -0.48 pct

ANALYST RESEARCH HIGHLIGHTS

Barrick Gold Corp : Canaccord Genuity raises target to C$21 from C$20.50; rating “buy”

Bombardier Inc : SocGen cuts rating to “sell” from “hold”

U.S. ECONOMIC DATA DUE ON THURSDAY

0830 Initial jobless claims: Expected 275,000; Prior 269,000

0830 Jobless claims 4-week average: Prior 281,250

0830 Continued jobless claims: Expected 2.250 mln; Prior 2.239 mln

0830 Philly Fed Business Index for Feb: Expected -3.0; Prior -3.5

0830 Philly Fed 6M Index for Feb: Prior 19.10

0830 Philly Fed Capex Index for Feb: Prior 9.40

0830 Philly Fed Employment for Feb: Prior -1.90

0830 Philly Fed Prices Paid for Feb: Prior -1.10

0830 Philly Fed New Orders for Feb: Prior -1.40

1000 Leading index change mm for Jan: Expected -0.2 pct; Prior -0.2 pct

FOR CANADIAN MARKETS NEWS, CLICK ON CODES:

TSX market report

Canadian dollar and bonds report

Reuters global stocks poll for Canada

Canadian markets directory ($1= C$1.37) (Reporting by Nikhil Kumar in Bengaluru)

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