CANADA STOCKS-Futures dip ahead of European interest rate decisions

Dec 14 (Reuters) - Stock futures pointed to a slightly lower opening for Canada’s main stock index on Thursday, a day after the U.S. Federal Reserve raised interest rates and ahead of key central banks in Europe making their own rate announcements.

The European Central Bank and the Bank of England are due to announce their final policy decisions of the year later in the day, with both expected to keep benchmark rates on hold.

The Fed, after raising rates for the third time this year, kept its outlook unchanged for coming years even as it projected faster economic growth from the Republican tax overhaul plan.

December futures on the S&P TSX index were down 0.09 percent at 7:15 a.m. ET. Among economic reports, new housing price index data is due at 8:30 a.m. ET.

Canada’s main stock index closed at a record on Wednesday, but well off its session highs as sharp gains for gold miners were offset by losses among energy companies and a fall in grocery retailer Empire Company Ltd.

Dow Jones Industrial Average e-mini futures were up 0.15 percent at 7:15 a.m. ET on Thursday. S&P 500 e-mini futures were up 0.08 percent and Nasdaq 100 e-mini futures were up 0.16 percent.

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Oil sands company Cenovus Energy Inc said on Thursday it will cut an additional 15 percent of its workforce and lower operating expenses as new chief executive, Alex Pourbaix, works aggressively to cut costs and lower debt.

Plane and train maker Bombardier Inc, in the middle of a five-year plan to turn around its ailing business, on Thursday forecast 2018 revenue that came in well short of analysts’ estimates.

Nebraska’s main anti-pipeline group is trying to rally opposition to the TransCanada Corp’s Keystone XL project’s recently approved route through the state, tracking down landowners it says were not given a voice in the regulatory process.


Element Fleet Management Corp: CIBC raises rating to “outperformer” from “neutral”

K Bro Linen Inc: National Bank of Canada resumes coverage with “outperform” rating

Stelco Holdings Inc: Credit Suisse starts coverage with “outperform” rating; C$24 target


Gold futures: $1253.8; +0.67 percent

US crude: $56.32; -0.49 percent

Brent crude: $62.07; -0.59 percent

LME 3-month copper: $6758.5; +0.44 percent


0830 Import prices mm for Nov: Expected 0.7 pct; Prior 0.2 pct

0830 Export prices mm for Nov: Expected 0.2 pct; Prior 0.0 pct

0830 Initial jobless claims: Expected 239,000; Prior 236,000

0830 Jobless claims 4-week average: Prior 241,500

0830 Continued jobless claims: Expected 1.900 mln; Prior 1.908 mln

0830 Retail sales ex-autos mm for Nov: Expected 0.6 pct; Prior 0.1 pct

0830 Retail sales mm for Nov: Expected 0.3 pct; Prior 0.2 pct

0830 Retail ex gas/autos for Nov: Prior 0.3 pct

0830 Retail control for Nov: Expected 0.3 pct; Prior 0.3 pct

0945 Markit Composite Flash PMI for Dec: Prior 54.5

0945 Markit Manufacturing PMI Flash for Dec: Expected 54.0 ; Prior 53.9

0945 Markit Services PMI Flash for Dec: Expected 55.0; Prior 54.5

1000 Business inventories mm for Oct: Expected -0.1 pct; Prior 0.0 pct

1000 US retail inventory ex auto (R) for Oct: Prior 0.4 pct


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Canadian markets directory ($1= C$1.28) (Reporting By Nachiket Tekawade in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D’Souza)