Canada's main stock index looked set to open higher on Thursday, buoyed by stronger U.S. economic data and hopes it will support commodity price gains.
The Canadian dollar took on 0.13 cents to 100.80 cents U.S.
Media conglomerate Quebecor Inc. said its fourth-quarter profit rose 83%, helped in part by lower expenses and strength in its telecommunications business.
Holiday travel operator Transat AT Inc. reported a wider first-quarter loss, hurt mainly by high fuel costs
Meanwhile, there will be a lot of focus on Canadian telecom stocks after Ottawa launched late Tuesday afternoon a much-anticipated auction of wireless spectrum.
There will be two major auctions that will allow all firms to bid on new spectrum -- rather than setting aside some for smaller firms -- which could drive a round of consolidation within the industry. Ottawa also loosened rules on foreign ownership, allowing non-Canadians to buy small wireless firms.
Futures were up for the American markets 30 minutes before markets open, suggesting that stocks will rise at the start of trading. Futures for the Dow Jones industrial average were up 28 points, or 0.2%, to 13,158. Futures for the broader S&P 500 were up 3.3 points or 0.2%, to 1,392, while Nasdaq gained 9.25 points, or 0.3%, to 1,392.
In Europe, the U.K.'s FTSE 100 was down 0.1% in afternoon trading, but Germany's DAX index rose 0.2%.
There is a lot on the U.S. economic agenda: The producer price index, weekly initial jobless claims and the Empire manufacturing survey will be released an hour before markets open.
Apple Inc. rose 1.2% in premarket trading, driving the share price close to $700 U.S. However, Citigroup Inc., which failed some aspects of the Fed's stress tests on financial firms earlier this week, fell 0.6% in premarket activity after falling more than 3% on Wednesday.
In Asia, Japan's Nikkei 225 rose 0.7% in overnight trading.
Commodity prices were relatively stable after Wednesday's big declines. Crude oil rose to $105.51 U.S. a barrel, up 0.1%.
Gold rose to $1,647 U.S. an ounce, up 0.2%