Toronto's main stock index looked set to open higher on Wednesday as stronger-than-expected Canadian housing data gave investors a reason to be optimistic after shares dropped to their lowest point of the year in the previous session.
Among Canadian stocks to watch this morning, Dollarama Inc. reported higher fourth-quarter profit, helped by strong holiday season sales, and also raised its quarterly dividend.
Timmins Gold Corp. said first-quarter production rose 17% and the company said it expects output to rise in the second quarter as well.
PetroBakken Energy Ltd reported higher average production for the first quarter and reiterated its capital budget for this year at $875 million.
Economically speaking, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation said the pace of Canadian housing starts remained brisk in March, with construction of apartments and condos remaining strong. The housing agency estimates there were 14,517 actual starts in March, which translates to a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 215,600 units.
March's seasonally adjusted rate was up from 205,300 units in February.
The S&P/TSX Composite Index tumbled 83.21 points to end Tuesday at 11,935.29
The TSX Venture Exchange fell 17.55 points to 1,431.10, while the Nasdaq Canada index tumbled 4.86 points to 393.92
The Canadian dollar inched up 0.12 of a cent to 99.61 cents U.S.
U.S. index futures were up strongly with about two hours before markets open, suggesting that stocks will rise at the start of trading. Futures for the Dow Jones industrial average were up 76 points or 0.6%, to 12,756. Futures for the broader S&P 500 were up 9.90 points or 0.7%, to 1,367, and for the Nasdaq index, futures were up 17, or 0.6%, to 2,714.
In Europe, stocks also made a comeback: The U.K.'s FTSE 100 was up 0.7% and Germany's DAX index was up 1.3% in afternoon trading. Despite the gains, the focus remains on the troubling bond market.
A German bond sale met with weak demand, with investors apparently finding low yields unappetizing. In Spain, where the yield on the government's 10-year bond leapt to its highest level since December, bond yields retreated slightly but remained elevated.
In Asia, Japan's Nikkei 225 fell 0.8% in overnight trading.
Meanwhile, commodities were relatively stable. Crude oil rose to $101.56 U.S. a barrel, up 0.5%. Gold, which rose on Tuesday, was unchanged at $1,656.32 U.S. an ounce.