U.S. stock index futures are slightly up today, but with oil prices under pressure North American markets may be hard pressed to help keep those gains.
Markets have had a bruising week as far as equities tracked oil prices. Brent futures are down more than 6 percent now and achieving dipped below US$40 per barrel you will find renewed expectations it might test 2008’s low.Oil gave up most of its early gains on Thursday to trade around US$40 per barrel as persistent oversupply concerns offset an unexpected fall in U.S. crude inventories after 10 weekly rises. Brent futures are down a lot more than 6 per cent now and achieving dipped below $40 per barrel you will find renewed expectations it could test 2008’s low around $36. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) U.S. crude futures were down 41 cents at US$36.75 per barrel.The Canadian dollar weakened Thursday morning as a benchmark crude traded below US$37 a barrel. The loonie traded at 73.70 cents US shortly before United states stock markets opened, down 0.02 of a cent. It had risen 0.12 on Wednesday but remains near an 11-year low of 73.41 set on Tuesday.The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits rose to a five-month high last week, but likely does not signal a deterioration in the labor market because the underlying trend remained in line with tightening conditions.U.S. import prices fell in November as the price of petroleum and many goods continued to decline, suggesting that cheaper oil and a strong dollar could keep imported inflation pressures subdued for a while. But given tightening labor market conditions, tame price pressures are unlikely to prevent the Fed from raising interest rates in a few days for the first time in nearly a decade. Labor market tightness is anticipated to spur faster wage growth and gradually push inflation toward its target.Canadian oil producer Cenovus Energy Inc said hello expects to lower its capital plan for 2016 by 19 percent, from its estimated budget for this season, in reaction to tumbling crude prices.Transat AT increased its profit in the important summer quarter as lower costs helped offset a decline in average ticket prices. The Montreal-based vacation company (TSX:TRZ.B) says its adjusted net income for that three months ended Oct. 31 was $54.8 million, up from $49.4 million a year earlier.