Oil Prices Fire Another Rise in Futures

Futures for stocks in Canada’s largest market were higher on Thursday, as oil prices rose, boosted by potential supply cuts by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries to offset demand loss from the coronavirus outbreak and by trade optimism.

The TSX Composite Index gained 138.86 points to conclude Wednesday at 17,651.59. The Canadian dollar inched up half a cent early Thursday at 75.30 cents U.S. March futures added 0.3% early Thursday.

Barrick Gold’s CEO says his company is not looking to merge with copper miner Freeport-McMoran, although he is interested in the company’s Grasberg mine in Indonesia, and indicated he wants to expand in the Pacific Rim.

Suncor Energy, Canada’s second-largest oil and gas producer, posted a wider quarterly loss on Wednesday, dented by a significant one-time impairment charge.

TD Securities cut the price target on MEG Energy to $9.00 from $9.50.TD Securities raised the price target on ECN Capital to $7.00 from $6.50.

Eight Capital cut the price target on Gran Tierra Energy to $3.00 from $3.50.


The TSX Venture Exchange gained 2.94 points to end Wednesday to 576.36.


U.S. stock index futures rose on Thursday after China announced it will halve tariffs on U.S. imports totaling about $75 billion.

Futures for the Dow Jones Industrials gained 94 points, or 0.3%, early Thursday to 29,335. Futures for the S&P 500 added nine points, or 0.3%, at 3,344.

Futures for the NASDAQ Composite moved higher 30 points, or 0.3%, to 9,414.25. It would be the fourth straight day of gains for the major averages.

Brinks and Bristol-Myers Squibb are among those companies reporting earnings.

On the data front, weekly jobless claims are due at 8:30 a.m. ET, as well as preliminary fourth-quarter productivity figures and labour costs.

China’s finance ministry said the tariff cut was timed in conjunction with a U.S. decision last month to halve tariffs on roughly $120 billion worth of Chinese products. Tariffs on some U.S. goods will be cut from 10% to 5%, and from 5% to 2.5% on others, which will take effect on Feb. 14

The cut also comes after the coronavirus death toll in China rose to 563, with a total of 28,018 cases confirmed as drugmakers race to find a vaccine. Stocks fell sharply last week amid fears the fast-spreading virus would thwart global economic growth. However, the major U.S. stock indexes have surged this week to recover most of those losses.

Overseas, in Japan, the Nikkei 225 climbed 2.4% Thursday, while in Hong Kong, the Hang Seng gained 2.6%

Oil prices were static at $50.75 U.S. a barrel. Gold prices improved $7.50 to $1,570.30 U.S. an ounce.

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