Futures Muted Ahead of U.S. Inflation Data



Futures for Canada’s main stock index were subdued on Thursday ahead of economic data from the United States that will provide clues on the U.S. Federal Reserve’s interest-rate trajectory.

The TSX Composite hiked 139.09 points to wind up Wednesday at 21,970.11.

March futures advanced 0.1% Thursday.

The Canadian dollar was unchanged at 74.26 cents U.S.

Canada stocks have risen this year so far benefiting from higher commodity prices and the continued expectation that central banks will move this year to lower interest rates.

In company news, the U.S. Department of Energy has granted Vancouver-based Lithium Americas a conditional commitment loan of $2.26 billion to finance the construction of its Thacker Pass project in Nevada.

On matters economic, January Manufacturing sales rose 0.2% mainly on higher sales of motor vehicles and chemical products. Meanwhile, production of aerospace product and parts posted the largest decline.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange gained 1.51 points Wednesday to 555.08.

ON WALLSTREET

U.S. stock futures rose Thursday as traders looked ahead to another inflation reading.

Futures for the Dow Jones Industrials vaulted 142 points, or 0.4%, to 39,663.

Futures for the S&P 500 collected 16 points, or 0.3%, to 5,248.50.

Futures for the NASDAQ Composite jumped 66 points, or 0.4%, to 18,394.50.

Trading platform Robinhood popped 12% after the company reported a 16% increase in assets under custody in February from the prior month. Troubled electric vehicle startup Fisker tumbled 37% after The Wall Street Journal reported that the company has hired restructuring advisors to prepare for a potential bankruptcy filing.

The bigger market theme right now is the recent sell-off in the technology sector, according to Jay Woods, the chief global strategist of Freedom Capital Markets. Just two stocks in the Magnificent Seven cohort ended Wednesday higher — Alphabet and Amazon. At the same time, seven of the 11 S&P sectors ended the day on a positive note, with energy and materials leading the way.

One strategist noted Apple and Tesla have continued to fall amid weakened sales in the China market and a lack of artificial intelligence-adjacent incentives. Meanwhile, the House’s recently passed bill — which could lead to a TikTok ban — may have larger ramifications both within the broader tech sector and in Chinese-linked equities.

Investors are watching out for February’s producer price index, due at 8:30 a.m. ET. The metric is a measurement of wholesale inflation. Economists polled by Dow Jones anticipate that headline PPI grew by 0.3% in February, or 0.2% when excluding food and energy prices.

The PPI report is the last major piece of economic data to be released prior to the Federal Reserve’s upcoming policy meeting, set for March 19-20.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 gained 0.3% Thursday, while in Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index slumped 0.7%.

Oil prices gained 73 cents to $80.45 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices backpedaled $8.60 to $2,172.20.



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