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Futures Tumble with Oil Prices

Canada's main stock index futures dipped on Thursday, as travel curbs dented oil demand and prices snapped three days of gains, overshadowing hopes of a $2-trillion economic package to tide over the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

The TSX Composite Index leaped 568.15 points, or 4.5%, to close Wednesday‘s session at 13,139.23

The Canadian dollar acquired 0.34 cents early Thursday to 70.67 cents U.S.

March futures dipped 1.1% early Thursday.

Canadian oil and gas companies are urging Ottawa to free up credit and cash to help them survive the twin shocks of COVID-19 spread and a crude price war, pitching ideas ranging from tax deferrals to backstopping bank loans.

Marty Proctor, CEO of Seven Generations Energy, said he has spoken directly with both the federal and Alberta governments about upcoming support, and left feeling assured.

National Bank of Canada cut the target price on AG Growth International to $30.00 from $57.00

National Bank of Canada cut the target price on Cogeco Communications to $115.00 from $124.00

Altacorp Capital cuts target price on Willow Biosciences to $2.75 from $5.00

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange hiked 14.92 points, or 3.9%, Wednesday to 395.67.

ON WALLSTREET

U.S. stock futures fell early Thursday morning trading as investors looked ahead to the national weekly initial jobless claims data, which are expected to show a record-breaking spike.

Futures for Dow Jones Industrials slumped 390 points, or 1.9%, early Thursday to 20,636

Futures for the S&P 500 dropped 49.5 points, or 2%, at 2,417.50

Futures for the NASDAQ Composite floundered 123.5 points, on 1.7%, to 7,344.25.

The move came as the Senate unanimously approved a $2-trillion economic relief package late Wednesday, which aims to cushion the blow from the coronavirus outbreak. The stimulus bill now heads to the House, which will push to pass it by voice vote Friday morning as most representatives are out of Washington.

The Dow was up more than 13% in two days for its first back-to-back gain since February in anticipation of the stimulus.

The Senate rushed to pass the bill as data is expected to show a massive spike in unemployment claims after businesses shuttered to try to slow the outbreak's spread.

The claims numbers are for the week ending March 21. The official consensus estimate from Dow Jones is calling for 1.5 million claims.

Overseas, in Japan, the Nikkei 225 handed back 4.5%, while Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index slipped 0.7%.

Oil prices docked 81 cents to $23.68 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices gained back $7.40 to $1,640.80 U.S. an ounce.

Investors Brace for Jobless Claims Surge, Futures Droop

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