Canadian shares look headed for a cautious and somewhat sluggish start on Friday, tracking mixed global cues and lower U.S. and Canadian futures.
Disappointing retail sales data and concerns about the likely adverse impact the ongoing government shutdown in the U.S. will have on the economy may weigh on stocks.
However, slightly higher crude oil and gold prices may limit market’s downside.
In U.S. economic release, a report on consumer price inflation is due at 8:30 AM ET.
On Thursday, the benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index ended up 98.76 points, or 0.67%, at 14,903.49, after scaling a low of 14,702.31 and a high of 14,921.06 intraday.
In company news, Aphria Inc. (APHA.TO) reported net revenue of $21.7 million for the second quarter of financial year 2019, up 0.63% from previous quarter.
Corus Entertainment Inc. (CJR.B.TO) reported adjuster net income of $70.1 million for the quarter ended November 2018, as compared to net income of $78.9 million a year ago.
Asian stocks ended mostly higher on Friday after China’s commerce ministry said trade talks with the United States in Beijing were extensive and helped to establish a “foundation” to resolve differences.
Prospects for more Chinese stimulus to arrest the slowdown in growth and growing expectations that the U.S. Federal Reserve will pause its rate tightening cycle this year also underpinned sentiment.
European stocks were moving up in morning trades, extending gains from previous session, despite concerns about the U.S. government shutdown, Brexit impasse and the lack of any clear resolution to U.S-China trade talks.
In economic news from Europe, the U.K. economy grew 0.2% in November versus 0.1% expected growth and 0.1% growth in October. However, growth slowed to 0.3% in the three months through November from 0.4% in the period through October, as manufacturing slumped.
Spain’s industrial production declined the most in seven months in November, led by decreases in all sub-sectors, preliminary data from the statistical office INE showed.
Italy’s industrial production decreased at the fastest pace in four months in November, falling by a seasonally adjusted 1.6%, after a 0.1% drop in the preceding month.
In commodities, crude oil futures for February were rising $0.23, or 0.44%, at $52.82 a barrel.
Natural gas futures for February were up $0.077, or 2.59%, at 3.046 per million btu.
Gold futures for February were gaining $6.05, or 0.47% at $1,293.45 an ounce.
Silver futures for March were up $0.097, or 0.62%, at $15.740 an ounce, while Copper futures for March were gaining $0.015, or 0.55%, at $2.652 per pound.