CANADA STOCKS-Futures drop as oil prices fall; Fed in focus
Stock futures pointed to a lower opening for Canada's main stock index on Thursday as U.S. crude prices fell below $50 per barrel and investors geared up for a likely increase in interest rate this month by the U.S. Federal Reserve. March futures on the S&P TSX index were down 0.17 percent at 7:15 a.m. ET. New home prices data is due at 8:30 a.m. ET The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index closed down 0.72 percent at 15,496.98 on Wednesday, falling more than 100 points as a sharp drop in oil prices weighed on energy shares, while the financial and industrial groups also lost ground. Dow Jones Industrial Average e-mini futures were down 0.12 percent at 7:15 a.m. ET, while S&P 500 e-mini futures were down 0.1 percent and Nasdaq 100 e-mini futures were down 0.07 percent. (Morning News Call newsletter here ; The Day Ahead newsletter here) TOP STORIES Royal Dutch Shell has agreed to sell most of its Canadian oil sands assets for $8.5 billion, the latest international oil major to withdraw from the costly projects, which are among the most carbon heavy. Taiwan's Cathay Financial Holding Co is in exclusive talks to acquire the Malaysian unit of Canada's Bank of Nova Scotia , in a deal that could be valued at around $200 million to $300 million. Canadian auto parts maker Linamar Corp on Wednesday reported a 21.8 percent increase in quarterly profit, helped in part by the acquisition of France's Montupet SA last year. ANALYST RESEARCH HIGHLIGHTS Pretium Resources Inc : RBC raises rating to "outperform" from "sector perform" Yellow Pages Ltd : Canaccord Genuity cuts rating to "speculative buy" from "buy" Bellatrix Exploration : Canaccord Genuity raises rating to "speculative buy" from "hold" COMMODITIES AT 7:15 a.m. ET Gold futures : $1204.5; -0.33 percent US crude : $49.3; -2.29 percent Brent crude : $52.15; -2.13 percent LME 3-month copper : $5667.5; -1.74 percent U.S. ECONOMIC DATA DUE ON THURSDAY 08:30 Import prices mm for Feb: Expected 0.1 pct; Prior 0.4 pct 08:30 Export prices mm for Feb: Expected 0.2 pct; Prior 0.1 pct 08:30 Initial jobless claims: Expected 235,000; Prior 223,000 08:30 Jobless claims 4-week average: Prior 234,250 08:30 Continued jobless claims: Expected 2.060 mln; Prior 2.066 mln FOR CANADIAN MARKETS NEWS, CLICK ON CODES: TSX market report Canadian dollar and bonds report Reuters global stocks poll for Canada Canadian markets directory (Reporting by Nayyar Rasheed in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)
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