Encana, First Quantum
The Toronto stock market looked set for a lower open, capping a losing week as traders took profits amid a new round of concerns about the U.S. economy.
The S&P/TSX composite index gained 56.09 points to close Thursday at 15,030.74
The Canadian dollar was unchanged at 93.56 cents U.S. early Friday
In corporate news, energy producer Encana has reached an agreement with Alberta-based Jupiter Resources to sell its Bighorn properties in the province for about $1.8 billion U.S. Encana has sold a number of its assets in recent months and is focusing on a half-dozen core growth areas in specific regions.
First Quantum Minerals has temporarily halted construction activity at its Cobre Panama project due to an illegal work stoppage by some members of its construction workforce. It said the dispute centres around the work roster.
On the economic slate, Statistics Canada reported this morning that its Raw Materials Price Index declined 0.4\%, mostly as a result of lower prices for animals and animal products.
Its Industrial Product Price Index was down 0.5\% in May, mainly because of lower prices for energy and petroleum products.
The TSX Venture Exchange dropped 1.90 points Thursday to 1,013.14
Markets are looking weak Friday, amid general uncertainty.
Ahead of the opening bell, futures for the Dow Jones Industrials dropped 24 points, or 0.1\%, to 16,738. Futures for the S&P 500 fell 3.8 points to 1,944.90, and futures for the NASDAQ faded four points, or 0.1\%, to 3,813.50.
So far this year, though, stock market performance has been impressive.
After a significant drop in January, all three major U.S. indexes have gone on to new record highs. The S&P 500 has surged by nearly 6\%, the NASDAQ is up by almost 5\% and the Dow has risen by 1.6\%.
Shares in Nike were rising by about 3\% pre-market after the company's earnings beat Wall Street's expectations.
Barclays shares were rising ahead of the bell, but falling far short of recouping their 7\% dive from Thursday, following a lawsuit from the New York Attorney General over lack of transparency in so-called "dark pool" trading.
General Electric was another pre-market mover Friday, with shares down by about 1\%. The company recently agreed to buy Alstom's power generation business.
Economically speaking, the University of Michigan will report its consumer sentiment index shortly before 10 this morning.
European markets were mixed in midday trading.
In Asian markets, the Nikkei 225 in Tokyo was a standout performer as it fell by 1.4\% Friday. The other key indexes were mixed.
Oil prices gained six cents to $105.90 U.S. a barrel
Gold prices gained $1.10 at $1,318.10 U.S. an ounce.
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