February 27, 2018 / 12:33 PM / 3 months ago

CANADA STOCKS-TSX futures dip ahead of budget, Powell testimony

Feb 27 (Reuters) - Canadian stock futures edged lower on Tuesday ahead of the government unveiling its federal budget and U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell’s first congressional testimony.

Canadian Finance Minister Bill Morneau is expected to unveil a restrained budget, with just enough spending to assuage middle class voters under pressure from rising rates - while keeping his powder dry amid uncertainty over NAFTA.

Investor’s focus will also be on Powell when he faces questions from both houses of the U.S. Congress in a semi-annual testimony starting Tuesday, his first major set piece since he took over from Janet Yellen earlier this month.

Most analysts expect no surprises from Powell regarding his view of U.S. economic growth and rates. However, his appearance comes at a sensitive period for the markets and Powell’s language will be scrutinized for any hints on the pace of U.S. interest rate hikes.

March futures on the S&P TSX index were down 0.14 percent at 7:15 a.m. ET. U.S. stock futures also dipped.

Dow e-minis were down 0.17 percent, while S&P 500 e-minis were down 0.19 percent and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 0.16 percent.

Canada's main stock index rose to a three-week high on Monday as gains in the prices of commodities such as gold and silver helped drive up shares of mining companies. (Morning News Call newsletter tmsnrt.rs/2fwPLTh; The Day Ahead newsletter tmsnrt.rs/2ggOmBi)

TOP STORIES

Bank of Nova Scotia reported first-quarter earnings that were ahead of market expectations, helped by a strong performance at its domestic and international businesses.

Bank of Montreal reported first-quarter earnings which were ahead of market expectations, reflecting strong sales growth in Canada and the United States.

JetBlue Airways Corp met with Bombardier Inc and also had plans to meet with Brazil’s Embraer SA this month, according to an internal email reviewed by Reuters, in a signal that talks are picking up for the U.S. airline’s closely watched sales campaign.

ANALYST RESEARCH HIGHLIGHTS

Lundin Gold Inc: Eight Capital cuts target price to C$6.90 from C$7.30

George Weston Ltd: Barclays cuts target price to C$108 from C$113

Prairiesky Royalty Ltd: TD Securities cuts target price to C$33 from C$34

COMMODITIES AT 7:15 a.m. ET

Gold futures: $1331.7; +0.11 percent

US crude: $63.67; -0.38 percent

Brent crude: $67.36; -0.21 percent

LME 3-month copper: $7078; -0.45 percent

U.S. ECONOMIC DATA DUE ON TUESDAY

0830 Durable goods for Jan: Expected -2.0 pct; Prior 2.8 pct

0830 Durables Ex-Transport for Jan: Expected 0.4 pct; Prior 0.7 pct

0830 Durables ex-defense mm for Jan: Prior 2.2 pct

0830 Nondefense cap ex-air for Jan: Expected 0.5 pct; Prior -0.6 pct

0830 Advance goods trade balance for Jan: Prior -72.26 bln

0830 Wholesale inventories advanced for Jan: Prior 0.4 pct

0830 US retail inventories advance for Jan: Prior 0.6 pct

0900 Monthly home price mm for Dec: Prior 0.4 pct

0900 Monthly home price yy for Dec: Prior 6.5 pct

0900 Monthly Home Price Index MM for Dec: Prior 256.0

0900 CaseShiller 20 mm SA for Dec: Expected 0.6 pct; Prior 0.7 pct

0900 CaseShiller 20 mm NSA for Dec: Prior 0.2 pct

0900 CaseShiller 20 yy for Dec: Expected 6.3 pct; Prior 6.4 pct

1000 Consumer Confidence for Feb: Expected 126.6 ; Prior 125.4

1000 Rich Fed Composite Index for Feb: Prior 14

1000 Rich Fed, Services Index for Feb: Prior 20

1000 Rich Fed Manufacturing Shipments for Feb: Prior 15

1030 Texas Service Sector Outlook for Feb: Prior 22.2

1030 Dallas Fed Services Revenues for Feb: Prior 12.8

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$1.27) (Reporting by Nayyar Rasheed in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D’Souza)

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