TSX futures gain ahead of key U.S. inflation data By Reuters



© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A sign board displaying Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) stock information is seen in Toronto June 23, 2014. REUTERS/Mark Blinch/File Photo

(Reuters) – Futures for Canada’s main stock index inched higher on Thursday as oil prices strengthened, while investors await key U.S. inflation data that could offer further cues on the U.S. Federal Reserve’s rate hike plans.

March futures on the S&P/TSX index were up 0.1% at 7:00 a.m. ET.

Oil prices rose on Thursday after rallying on an unexpected drop in inventories in the previous session, as investors awaited the outcome of U.S.-Iran nuclear talks that could add crude supplies quickly to global markets.[O/R]

The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index ended 1.1% higher at 21,604.19 on Wednesday. ()

were up 57 points, or 0.2%, at 7:00 a.m. ET, while were down 4.5 points, or 0.1%, and were down 32.25 points, or 0.21%. [.N]

TOP STORIES [TOP/CAN]

Canadian insurers Manulife Financial (NYSE:) and Sun Life Financial (NYSE:) narrowly beat quarterly earnings expectations on Wednesday, driven by strong growth in their asset management units, but Sun Life warned that the spread of the Omicron variant would impact first-quarter earnings.

The business impact from U.S.-Canada border closures is bringing fresh urgency to Canadian authorities’ efforts to quell the two-week-old protests against the government’s pandemic measures, even as the national capital Ottawa sees early signs of a return to normalcy.

ANALYST RESEARCH HIGHLIGHTS [RCH/CA]

Laurentian Bank of Canada: Veritas Research cuts to sell

Sun Life Financial: National Bank of Canada (OTC:) cuts to sector perform from outperform

Wildbrain Ltd: Canaccord Genuity raises to buy from hold

COMMODITIES AT 7:00 a.m. ET

: $1,832.1; -0.19% [GOL/]

US crude: $90.64; +1.10% [O/R]

: $92.21; +0.72% [O/R]

U.S. ECONOMIC DATA DUE ON THURSDAY

Consumer price inflation data due at 8:30 am ET

Initial jobless claims data for the week ending February 5

FOR CANADIAN MARKETS NEWS, CLICK ON CODES:

TSX market report ()

Canadian dollar and bonds report [CAD/] [CA/]

Reuters global stocks poll for Canada

Canadian markets directory

($1= C$1.27)

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