(Reuters) - Futures tracking Canada's resources-heavy main stock index gained on Friday as prices of oil and precious metals rose on investors' hopes that top consumer China's economy would strengthen as it eases more COVID-19 curbs.
Futures on the S&P/TSX index were up 0.3% at 7:01 a.m. ET, tracking their U.S. peers ahead of producer price data due before markets open. [.N]
Oil prices were steady, though likely to log weekly losses of about 10% amid economic growth concerns, while gold prices climbed against a weaker greenback. [O/R] [GOL/]
The benchmark Canadian index has closed lower for five straight sessions and appears set to record its biggest weekly drop in more than two months, with the energy sector, down 7.5% for the week, among the biggest drags.
The producer price data as well as a U.S. inflation report due Dec. 12 will help shape interest rate expectations as markets head into a big week with the Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank among others set to announce interest rate decisions.
The Bank of Canada had hiked its overnight lending rate by 50 basis points on Wednesday and signaled its unprecedented tightening campaign was near its end.
After a bumper year of share buybacks and dividends, investors in debt-light Canadian oil and gas producers are set to reward shareholders even more in 2023 as they generate ample cash and show little appetite for acquisitions.
Meanwhile, Pakistan's Supreme Court endorsed a settlement for Barrick Gold to resume mining at the Reko Diq project, one of the world's largest underdeveloped sites of copper and gold deposits.
On the research front, Credit Suisse cut banker Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce's rating to "neutral" from "outperform".
($1 = 1.3615 Canadian dollars)
(Reporting by Shashwat Chauhan in Bengaluru; Editing by Vinay Dwivedi)