Futures Drop as Virus Crisis Deepens

Canada’s main stock index futures dropped on Friday as concerns over the fast-spreading coronavirus outweighed stimulus measures undertaken by policymakers.

The TSX Composite Index ended up with gains of 231.94 points, or 1.8%, Thursday to 13,371.17

The Canadian dollar slid 0.28 cents early Friday to 70.94 cents U.S. March futures slid 2.7% early Friday. National Bank of Canada cut the target price on Air Canada to $30.00 from $45.00

Canaccord Genuity raised the target price on Centerra Gold to $13.50 from $12.00. Scotiabank cut the target price on Savaria Corp to $14.00 from $16.50

On the economic front, Statistics Canada reported that the average weekly earnings of non-farm payroll employees were $1,051 in January, up 0.6% from the previous month.

Year over year, earnings rose 4.0%. Non-farm payroll employees worked an average of 33.0 hours per week in January, up from both the previous month (32.8 hours) and January 2019 (32.6 hours).


The TSX Venture Exchange gained 2.76 points to 398.43.


U.S. stock futures pointed lower Friday following a sharp rally sparked by increasing expectations of massive fiscal stimulus while investors shook off grim unemployment data.

Futures for Dow Jones Industrials sank 665 points, or 3%, early Friday to 21,683. The 30-stock average is now up more than 20% over the past three sessions, a gain that meets the technical definition of a bull market. The S&P 500 also rallied more than 6% and is now up over 20% since Monday’s close as well.

Futures for the S&P 500 fell 72.5 points, or 2.8%, at 2,535.50. Futures for the NASDAQ Composite lost 194 points, on 2.5%, to 7,650.

Global cases of the coronavirus have surged to more than 542,700 with at least 85,996 in the U.S., according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

President Donald Trump held a phone call with Chinese leader Xi Jinping, saying the two countries are “working closely together” to fight the pandemic. Meanwhile, U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has tested positive for the coronavirus.

Overseas, in Japan, the Nikkei 225 rebounded 3.9%, while Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index gained 0.6%.

Oil prices tailed off 26 cents to $22.34 U.S. a barrel. Gold prices drooped $23.70 to $1,636.60 U.S. an ounce.

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