Toronto's main stock index looked set to open higher on Thursday as investors look for signs of stability in U.S. economic data, and digest stronger-than-expected quarterly results from Manulife, the country's largest life insurer.
The S&P/TSX Composite Index gave back 102.67 points to close Wednesday at 12,220.27
The Canadian dollar traded this morning up 0.31 cents to 101.68 cents U.S.
In Toronto, the index could react to a number of high profile quarterly financial reports today coming from Canadian Natural Resources Ltd., Manulife Financial Corp., SXC health Solutions Corp., BCE Inc. and Jean Coutu Group, all before the opening bell.
The TSX Venture Exchange inched down 0.24 points to 1,431.44, while the Nasdaq Canada fell 3.36 points to 409.05.
U.S. index futures were up 30 minutes before markets open, suggesting that stocks will advance at the start of trading. Futures for the Dow Jones industrial average were up 0.2% to 13,236. Futures for the broader S&P 500 were up 0.3% to 1,401.70, while Nasdaq futures improved 0.4% to 2,738.
In Europe, the U.K.'s FTSE 100 rose 0.6% in afternoon trading and Germany's DAX index rose 1.1% In Japan, the Nikkei 225 rose 0.3%. Hong Kong's Hang Seng slipped 0.3%.
In the U.S., earnings season is starting to wind down, with Kraft Foods Inc. the only member of the Dow Jones Industrial Average reporting today. General Motors reported early in the day that first-quarter profit beat analyst expectations.
Oil prices dipped 10 cents to $105.12 U.S. a barrel
Gold prices fell $8.10 to $1,645.90 U.S. an ounce.