The Toronto stock market headed for a higher open Thursday as buyers were encouraged by moves by central banks to give the global economic recovery some much needed assistance.
The S&P/TSX Composite Index gained 65.12 points to end Wednesday at 11,913.87
The Canadian dollar was fairly flat at 98.67 cents U.S. early Thursday.
The TSX Venture Exchange took on 16.41 points to 1,241.90.
U.S. stocks were set to open higher Thursday as investors welcomed stimulus and rate cuts by central banks in Europe and China, and encouraging jobs numbers in the U.S.
Futures for the Dow Jones subtracted 20 points, or 0.2%, to 12,847, about 30 minutes before the opening bell, indicating a downward start to the trading day. Futures for the S&P 500 slid 2.4 points, or 0.2%, to 1,365.50, and for the Nasdaq, futures gained 1.25 points, or 0.1%, to 2,642.75.
Markets in the States were shut down yesterday for Independence Day.
Thursday has been a big day for central bank intervention. The European Central Bank lowered its key interest rate by quarter percentage point to 0.75%. The Bank of England decided to flood the market with British pounds through quantitative easing, increasing asset purchases by £50 billion ($78.1 billion U.S).
The People's Bank of China also cut several key interest rates, bringing its lending rate down 0.31 percentage point to 6%.
On the domestic front, investors head into Thursday with the U.S. labor market in focus.
First-time U.S. unemployment claims for the week that ended June 30 came in at 374,000, down 14,000 from the prior week. The U.S. Labor Department's figures were just below economists' expectations.
Payroll-processing firm Automatic Data Processing reported U.S. private-sector jobs rose by 176,000 in June, beating expectations.
The ADP report could raise expectations of Friday's government jobs report for June. Analysts expect that the U.S. economy added just 80,000 jobs last month.
European stocks were slightly higher in afternoon trading. Britain's FTSE 100 rose 0.3%, the DAX in Germany added 0.2% and France's CAC 40 remained flat.
Asian markets ended mixed. The Shanghai Composite lost 1.2% and Japan's Nikkei slid 0.3%, while the Hang Seng in Hong Kong rose 0.5%
Oil for August delivery rose 99 cents to $88.65 U.S. a barrel.
Gold futures for August delivery fell 70 cents to $1,621.10 U.S. an ounce.