Toronto futures up on commodity-led boost

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Dec 16 (Reuters) - Futures pointed to a higher opening for Canada's main stock index on Thursday, aided by gains in both crude and gold prices, while an upbeat economic outlook from the U.S. Federal Reserve boosted sentiment.

December futures on the S&P/TSX index were up 0.6% at 7:00 a.m. ET.

Oil prices rose, supported by record U.S. implied demand and falling crude stockpiles, while gold prices were boosted by a fall in the U.S. dollar.

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Fed Chair Jerome Powell during his news conference on Wednesday struck an upbeat tone about the U.S. economic recovery and expressed willingness to raise interest rates as necessary to control inflation. read more

Domestic wholesale data and manufacturing sales data are due at 8:30 a.m. ET.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index (.GSPTSE) ended 0.6% higher at 20,769.16 on Wednesday, its first higher close since Dec. 7.

Dow e-minis were up 271 points, or 0.75% at 7:00 a.m. ET, S&P 500 e-minis were up 41.75 points, or 0.89% and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 164.5 points, or 1.01%.

TOP STORIES

A Canadian government advisory against traveling abroad due to the Omicron variant could lead to further confusion and cancellations ahead of the key holiday travel season, the country's second-largest carrier said on Wednesday.

Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce and National Bank of Canada (NA.TO) said Wednesday they have asked staff in Canada to work remotely, joining Bank of Nova Scotia in halting plans for a return to offices amid growing concerns over the Omicron variant. read more

ANALYST RESEARCH HIGHLIGHTS

Cineplex Inc (CGX.TO): CIBC raises to "outperform" from "neutral"

Freshlocal Solutions Inc (LOCL.TO): Canaccord Genuity cuts to "hold" from "buy"

Manulife Financial Corp (MFC.TO): CIBC cuts to "underperform" from "neutral"

COMMODITIES AT 7:00 a.m. ET

Gold futures : $1786.3; +1.3%

US crude : $72.02; +1.6%

Brent crude : $74.97; +1.5%

U.S. ECONOMIC DATA DUE ON THURSDAY

0830 Building permits: number for Nov: Expected 1.663 mln; Prior 1.653 mln

0830 Build permits: change mm for Nov: Prior 4.2%

0830 Housing start number for Nov: Expected 1.568 mln; Prior 1.520 mln

0830 House starts mm: change for Nov: Prior -0.7%

0830 Initial jobless claim : Expected 200,000; Prior 184,000

0830 Jobless claim 4week average: Prior 218,750

0830 Continue jobless claim: Expected 1.936 mln; Prior 1.992 mln

0830 Philly Fed Business Index for Dec: Expected 30.0; Prior 39.0

0830 Philly Fed 6M Index for Dec: Prior 28.50

0830 Philly Fed Capex Index for Dec: Prior 31.10

0830 Philly Fed Employment for Dec: Prior 27.20

0830 Philly Fed Prices Paid for Dec: Prior 80.00

0830 Philly Fed New Orders for Dec: Prior 47.40

0915 Industrial production mm for Nov: Expected 0.7%; Prior 1.6%

0915 Capacity utilization SA for Nov: Expected 76.8%; Prior 76.4%

0915 Manufacturing output mm for Nov: Expected 0.7%; Prior 1.2%

0915 Industrial production YoY for Nov: Prior 5.14%

0945 Markit manufacturing PMI flash for Dec: Expected 58.5; Prior 58.3

0945 Markit service flash PMI for Dec: Expected 58.5; Prior 58.0

0945 Markit composite flash PMI for Dec: Prior 57.2

1100 KC Fed Manufacturing for Dec: Prior 17

1100 KC Fed Composite Index for Dec: Prior 24

FOR CANADIAN MARKETS NEWS, CLICK ON CODES:

TSX market report

Canadian dollar and bonds report CA/

Reuters global stocks poll for Canada ,

Canadian markets directory

($1= C$1.28)

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Reporting by Amal S in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.