March 31, 2016 / 1:03 PM / a year ago

CANADA STOCKS-Futures up as economic growth escalates

(Adds GDP data)

March 31 (Reuters) - Canadian stock futures edged higher on Thursday as data showed the economy expanded more than expected in January on strength in energy, manufacturing and retail sectors.

Data from Statistics Canada showed the economy grew 0.6 percent. Market operators polled by Reuters had forecast a 0.3 percent increase from December.

June futures on the S&P TSX index were up 0.05 percent at 8:50 a.m. ET.

Canada’s main stock index rose on Wednesday as consumer and bank stocks bounced and equity investors broadly cheered a more cautious tone on U.S. interest rate hikes from the Federal Reserve.

Dow Jones Industrial Average e-mini futures were up 0.04 percent at 8:50 a.m. ET, while S&P 500 e-mini futures were up 0.02 percent and Nasdaq 100 e-mini futures were down 0.01 percent.

(Morning News Call newsletter link.reuters.com/nex49s; The Day Ahead newsletter link.reuters.com/mex49s)

TOP STORIES

Cara Operations Ltd, owner of the Swiss Chalet casual dining chain and Harvey’s burger outlets, said on Thursday it would buy St-Hubert BBQ, one of Quebec’s largest casual dining chains, for C$537 million.

COMMODITIES AT 8:50 a.m. ET

Gold futures : $1,237.90; -0.04 pct

US crude : $38.43; +0.93 pct

Brent crude : $39.70; +1.12 pct

LME 3-month copper : $4,846.00; -0.54 pct

ANALYST RESEARCH HIGHLIGHTS

Dollarama Inc : Desjardins raises target price to C$97 from C$91

Detour Gold Corp : Desjardins raises ratings to “buy” from “hold”

U.S. ECONOMIC DATA DUE ON THURSDAY

0945 Chicago PMI for Mar: Expected 50.0; Prior 47.6

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$1.29) (Reporting by Riniki Sanyal in Bengaluru; Editing by Don Sebastian)

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