European markets are mostly up on Friday on word China's economy grew 7.6 per cent from April to June. Chinese growth is still the slowest expansion since the first quarter of 2009, but fell in line with expectations. Moody's Investors Service cut Italy's government bond rating by two notches, leaving it just two levels above junk status.
Asian bourses are also making modest gains to end the week fuelled by the relief that China's economy grew to the degree it did and as expected. Some investors are wondering if the possibility exists for China to consider new stimulus measures to give the world's second largest economy a push in the right direction.
Prior to the TSX open, here's what you should know:
*U.S. futures point to a higher open with futures for the S&P 500, the Dow Jones Industrial Average, and the Nasdaq 100 all up by 0.2 per cent.
*The price of oil rose to near US$87 per barrel despite the fact that China's economy, the world's second largest consumer of crude, has indeed slowed down. Benchmark oil for August delivery was up 43 cents at $86.51 a barrel while Brent crude for August delivery was up 59 cents at $101.66 per barrel.
*Gold is trading flat on Friday with prices falling as investors turn to the U.S. greenback's safe haven appeal. Spot gold was at $1,570.65 an ounce and heading for a weekly decline of 0.8 per cent. The U.S. gold futures contract for August delivery edged up 0.3 per cent to $1,570.10.
*The Canadian dollar rose 0.13 of a cent at close on Thursday to trade at 98.17 cents US.
*Of note on the U.S. economic data calendar to end the week is the Labor Department's Producer Price Index. The Thomson Reuters-University of Michigan July preliminary consumer sentiment index is also due today.