The Toronto Stock Exchange is set to push slightly higher as commodity prices bounced back and traders awaited the release of data on the U.S. housing market following a string of mildly encouraging data about of the world's largest economy.
Thursday's close saw the S&P/TSX Composite Index down 74.68 points to 12,361.81
The Canadian dollar settled 0.21 cents this morning to 99.86 cents U.S.
Meanwhile, Statistics Canada reported that the country's inflation rate rose to 2.6% in February. Even after stripping out volatile food and energy items, the rate rose 2.3%, which is above the Bank of Canada's target.
The TSX Venture Exchange closed Thursday lower by 36.85 points to 1,540.75, while the Nasdaq Canada index fell 4.12 to 410.75
U.S. index futures were flat with less than half an hour before markets open, suggesting stocks will open little changed. Futures for the Dow Jones industrial average were down 35 points, or 0.3%, to 12,966. Futures for the broader S&P 500 were down 1.40, or 0.1%, to 1,387.50, and for the Nasdaq, futures were off 0.75, to 2,730.50
The calm surface follows three consecutive down days for the Dow, which is on track to fall 1.4% this week and mark its worst weekly performance since mid-December -- which is when the latest leg of the bull market began.
In Europe, the U.K.'s FTSE 100 and Germany's DAX index were down 0.2% each in afternoon trading. In Asia, Japan's Nikkei 225 fell 1.1% in overnight trading.
Commodity prices rose slightly. Crude oil rose to $105.88 U.S. a barrel, up 0.5%. Gold rose to $1,651 U.S. an ounce, up 0.5%