March 7 (Reuters) - Futures pointed to a slightly higher opening for Canada’s main stock index on Thursday as ongoing OPEC-led supply cuts and U.S. sanctions against exporters Venezuela and Iran supported oil prices.
March futures on the S&P/TSX index were up 0.07 percent at 7:10 a.m. ET.
Building permits data is due to be released at 8:30 a.m. ET.
The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX ended 5.53 points, or 0.03 percent, higher to 16,092.07 on Wednesday.
Dow Jones Industrial Average e-mini futures were down 0.23 percent at 7:10 a.m. ET, while S&P 500 e-mini futures were down 0.15 percent and Nasdaq 100 e-mini futures were down 0.18 percent.
Canadian Natural Resources Ltd reported a surprise quarterly loss because of lower crude prices, but said Canadian crude differentials have narrowed since Alberta imposed output curbs last year.
Crescent Point Energy Corp reported a bigger net loss in the fourth quarter, hurt by an impairment charge of C$3.69 billion.
China confirmed that it has suspended the clearance of canola imports from Canadian agribusiness Richardson International and said customs will step up inspections of Canadian canola until further notice.
ANALYST RESEARCH HIGHLIGHTS
Aecon Group Inc: Canaccord Genuity raises target price to C$25 from C$24
Alaris Royalty Corp: RBC raises price target to C$25 from C$24
Transalta Renewables Inc: CIBC raises target price to C$13 from C$12
COMMODITIES AT 7:10 a.m. ET
Gold futures: $1,286.2; -0.11 pct
US crude: $56.86; +1.14 pct
Brent crude: $66.87; +1.33 pct
U.S. ECONOMIC DATA DUE ON THURSDAY
0730 Challenger layoffs for Feb : Prior 52,988
0830 Initial jobless claims : Expected 225,000; Prior 225,000
0830 Jobless claims 4-week average : Prior 229,000
0830 Continued jobless claims : Expected 1.775 mln; Prior 1.805 mln
0830 Labor costs revised for Q4: Expected 1.6 pct
0830 Productivity revised for Q4: Expected 1.6 pct
1500 Consumer credit for Jan: Expected $16.00 bln; Prior $16.55 bln
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$1.34) (Reporting by Hrithik Kiran Bagade in Bengaluru)
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