CANADA STOCKS-Commodity prices help futures to trade higher

Fri May 20, 2016 8:56am EDT
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(Adds economic data)

May 20 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index was set to open higher on Friday as commodity prices firmed with speculators closing out bearish positions before the weekend and as the U.S. dollar took a breather from recent rises.

June futures on the S&P TSX index were up 0.34 percent at 8:45 a.m. ET.

Data from Statistics Canada showed annual inflation rate rose as expected in April. The 1.7 percent rise last month was in line with economists' forecasts. The core inflation rate, which strips out some volatile items and is watched by the Bank of Canada, was more robust, rising to 2.2 percent.

Canadian retail sales fell more than expected in March, after two months of strong gains, as consumers bought fewer cars and home furnishings, data from Statistics Canada showed. The 1.0 percent decline exceeded economists' forecasts for a decrease of 0.6 percent, though February was revised slightly higher to a gain of 0.6 percent.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index pared losses after hitting a one-week low earlier on Thursday as the materials group rose more than 2 percent, offsetting declines in the financial and industrial stocks.

Dow Jones Industrial Average e-mini futures were up 0.22 percent at 8:45 a.m. ET, while S&P 500 e-mini futures were up 0.20 percent and Nasdaq 100 e-mini futures were up 0.31 percent.

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