Before the bell u.s. futures advance as tech shares firm; tsx treads water – the globe and mail database first entity framework

“should this turn out to be the case, the sector could come under further pressure and given its size, that could easily drag the rest of the market with it, as we’ve seen recently,” he said. “with the dow back in correction territory, markets still look vulnerable to more losses.”

On bay street, markets got a disappointing reading on january GDP. Statistics canada said thursday that gross domestic product for the month fell 0.1 per cent. Economists had been expected a modest 0.1-per-cent increase. The canadian dollar fell in the wake of the report but quickly recovered.

In corporate news, south africa’s gold fields is buying a nearly 50-per-cent stake in canadian miner asanko gold inc.’s ghana operation.Rose cent it will also take a stake in asanko as part of the $202.6-million deal announced early thursday.

Dollarama shares could also get some attention after the dollar-store operator reported earnings ahead of market expectations. The retailer posted earnings per share of $1.45 in the latest quarter, beating market expectations of $1.40. Sales, meanwhile, rose 9.8 per cent to $938.1-million. Dollarama also raised its quarterly dividend by 9 per cent.

On wall street, amazon shares were down in premarket trading after U.S. President donald trump renewed his attack thursday on the retailer in a tweet saying the retailer pays little to no taxes to state and local government.Million barrels he also accused the retailer of using the U.S. Postal system as its “delivery boy.”

A day earlier, amazon took a hit after axios news site reported that mr. Trump talked about using antitrust laws to “go after” the company. The story also suggested mr. Trump was eager to change amazon’s tax treatment. Amazon shares finished down 5 per cent on wednesday, wiping more than US$30-billion off its market value. The report added to the tech sectors woes coming after facebook stocks dropped on a data-sharing scandal.

In asia, japan’s nikkei finished up 0.61 per cent, helped by a late-day rebound. Hong kong’s hang seng rose 0.24 per cent. The shanghai composite index was up 1.24 per cent.Fell cent

Oil prices were mixed in early going as a rise in U.S. Crude stocks weighed on sentiment. Brent crude was slightly weaker at last check, trading off the week’s best levels. The day range on brent so far is US$69.33 to US$70. Brent touched a week higher of US$71 on tuesday but has struggled to maintain that momentum. West texas intermediate was just above break even with a range for the day of US$64.43 to US$64.85. Oil prices are now up about 4 per cent since january and look set for their third consecutive quarterly increase, marking the longest string of quarterly gains since 2010.

Sentiment was capped by recent figures from the U.S. Energy information administration showing a rise in U.S.Fourth quarter inventories and production. That report, released thursday, showed U.S. Crude stocks rose by 1.6 million barrels last week to 429.95 million barrels. U.S. Output, meanwhile, hit a record 10.43 million.

“the 1.6 million barrels crude build clearly disappointed the market based on the negative response from oil prices and equities,” desjardins said. “in hindsight, last week’s surprisingly strong crude draw may have set expectations too high, with growing geopolitical risk factors also further stoking the market.”

In other commodities, gold prices slid as the U.S. Dollar steadied. Spot gold prices were modestly weaker ahead of the north american open.Million barrels on wednesday, spot prices fell 1.5 per cent, the biggest one-day percentage decline in almost nine months after the U.S. Dollar rose on strong economic data. However, traders also noted that continued tensions over russia and linger trade issues are likely to play in gold’s favour in the near future.

“I don’t see gold falling much further from here given the continued geopolitical tensions,” said carsten fritsch, commodity analyst at commerzbank in frankfurt.

“there was an easing of tensions in the far east regarding north korea, but there’s still tension between the west and russia… This can boil over again and support gold.”

The canadian dollar shuddered thursday after statistics canada said GDP for january fell 0.1 per cent, missing already modest expectations.Fell cent after the release of the report, the loonie slid to near the bottom end of the day’s range of 77.33 US cents to 77.49 US cents but then shifted back to the midpoint as the markets digested the news.

“does the canadian economy need rate hikes to slow it down, or maybe its already slowing enough on its own?” CIBC world markets economist avery shenfeld said. “that’s what markets, and the bank of canada will be asking in light of today’s january GDP numbers, which showed a weaker than expected reading, falling 0.1 per cent, and only partially rescued by an upward revision to december.”

However, mr. Shenfeld noted the underlying trends aren’t as bad as the headline suggests.Fell cent A chunk of the drop, he said, came from a steep drop in the oil and gas industries as a result of unscheduled maintenance shutdowns. As expected, real estate services also fell on softer home sales under new mortgage rules, mr. Shenfeld said.

“elsewhere, the news was much brighter, with solid gains in factories, construction and wholesaling, and a middling 0.2% advance for retailing GDP,” he said. “ we expect a bounceback in feb/march GDP, but we’re going to revise down our Q1 GDP forecast to sub-2 per cent, adding weight to our view that the bank of canada is on hold until july.”

In other currencies, the U.S. Dollar index was off slightly at 90.003.Million barrels the greenback got a boost in the previous session on reports that U.S. Economic growth performed better than initial estimates in the fourth quarter. Despite this week’s gains, the U.S. Dollar looked set for its fourth consecutive quarter of losses.

In bonds, U.S. Debt prices saw slight gains as investors sought safer holdings. The yield on the U.S. 10-year note was lower at 2.77 per cent. The yield on the 30-year note was also lower at 3.005 per cent.

Dollarama inc reported an 11.4-per-cent rise in quarterly profit on thursday, driven by an increase in comparable sales as shoppers spent more at its stores. The montreal-based company’s net earnings rose to $162.8-million, or $1.45 per share, in the quarter ended jan. 29, from $146.1-million, or $1.24 per share, a year earlier.Million barrels sales rose 9.8 per cent to $938.1-million.

Steel maker stelco holdings inc. Said after markets closed wednesday that it was providing earnings estimate for the first two quarters due to “favourable market conditions” — but investor reaction may be mixed. The company said its sales and profits for the first quarter will reflect orders in 2017’s fourth quarter, when prices were lower. EBITDA, or earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, will be between $60 million and $70 million, less than analysts expect.

Facebook inc said on wednesday it would end its partnerships with several large data brokers who help advertisers target people on the social network, a step that follows a scandal over how facebook handles personal information.Rose cent the world’s largest social media company is under pressure to improve its handling of data after disclosing that information about 50 million facebook users wrongly ended up in the hands of political consultancy cambridge analytica. Facebook adjusted the privacy settings on its service on wednesday, giving users control over their personal information in fewer taps.

John cryan, the chief executive of deutsche bank, said in a memo to staff on he was “absolutely committed” to the lender, a day after reuters and other news organisations reported the bank was searching for a new boss. Two people familiar with the matter told reuters on tuesday that germany’s flagship bank had begun looking for a new CEO, as investors grow frustrated with the slow turnaround of the loss-making lender.Fourth quarter

Constellation brands inc posted better-than-expected quarterly sales, driven by strong demand for its corona and modelo beers. Net income attributable to the company rose to US$925.5-million, or US$4.64 per class A share, in the fourth quarter ended feb. 28 from US$452-million, or US$2.26 per class A share, a year earlier. The company’s latest quarter was helped by a US$363-million gain due to the recently enacted U.S. Tax law. The maker of robert mondavi wines and SVEDKA vodka said sales rose 8.5 per cent to US$1.77-billion.

BP CEO bob dudley’s remuneration rose to US$13.4-million in 2017, when the oil and gas giant’s profits more than doubled and production soared.Million barrels dudley’s salary was up 13 per cent from 2016, when his pay package was cut by 40 per cent after a majority of shareholders opposed the company’s pay policy.

GameStop corp, the world’s largest video game and gaming console retailer, reported revenue that beat analysts’ estimates for the fourth straight quarter as sales of nintendo switch consoles remained strong. GameStop also reported a 12.2-per-cent jump in same-store sales, above analysts’ average estimate of a 9.32-per-cent rise, according to thomson reuters I/B/E/S. Sales in the company’s core video game retail business, which makes up about 30 per cent of revenue, rose 12.4 per cent to US$1.04-billion, while sales in its hardware business jumped nearly 45 per cent to US$844-million.Million barrels

Initial claims for U.S. State unemployment benefits dropped 12,000 to a seasonally adjusted 215,000 for the week ended march 24, the lowest level since january 1973, the labor department said.