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Futures Gain Momentum

Canadian stock futures inched up on Wednesday, tracking a rise in gold prices, as investors awaited fresh cues about timing of interest rate cuts this year.

The TSX Composite lost 97.33 points to conclude Tuesday at 21,642.87.

June futures were up 0.3% Wednesday.

The Canadian dollar nicked ahead 0.07 cents to 72.43 cents U.S.

Aecon Group was due out with its first-quarter earnings after the markets close, likewise Alamos Gold.

On the economic slate, Statistics Canada reported Canadian investors acquired $24.2 billion of foreign securities in February, led by an all-time high investment in foreign bonds. Meanwhile, foreign investors reduced their exposure to Canadian securities by $8.8 billion, led by a record divestment in government short-term debt securities.

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ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange dropped 4.1 points Tuesday to 572.57.

ON WALLSTREET

U.S. stock futures were higher on Wednesday morning after the S&P 500 notched its third straight day of losses.

Futures for the Dow Jones Industrials advanced 115 points, or 0.3%, to 38,161.

Futures for the S&P 500 tacked on 19.5 points, or 0.4%, to 5,112.

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Futures for the NASDAQ Composite jumped 44.25 points, or 0.3%, to 17,925.50.

United Airlines climbed 5% after posting a narrower-than-expected loss and beating on revenue. J.B. Hunt Transport Services fell 4% after missing analysts’ expectations on the top and bottom lines.

Those moves come after the Dow was able to break a six-day losing streak on Tuesday. The index was lifted by UnitedHealth, which rose more than 5% after posting beats on the top and bottom lines in the first quarter.

But Tuesday marked the third straight day of declines for the S&P 500 and NASDAQ Composite.

The moves come after Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said that the Federal Reserve needs to see more progress on the inflation front before the U.S. central bank is likely to begin cutting rates. The comments did little to assuage the market’s pessimism, said Ross Mayfield, an investment strategy analyst with Baird.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 slid 1.3% Wednesday, while in Hong Kong, the Hang Seng forged ahead almost three points.

Oil prices subsided 43 cents to $84.93 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices ducked $2.20 to $2,405.60 U.S. an ounce.