TSX, Wall Street futures rise on positive U.S. economic data as loonie dips

The Toronto Stock Exchange Broadcast Centre is shown in Toronto on June 28, 2013. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Aaron Vincent Elkaim

TORONTO - The Toronto stock market was poised to open higher Monday on positive data that indicated the U.S. economy expanded more than expected in the last quarter.

It's expected to be a quiet week for the TSX as it heads into the year's second last week of trading. The exchange is closed both Christmas Day and Boxing Day while New York is shuttered just for Dec. 25.

The Canadian dollar declined 0.11 of a cent at 93.65 cents US as Statistics Canada was set to report that its latest reading on the country's GDP. The agency is expected to say that gross domestic product grew by 0.1 per cent in October following a 0.3 per cent gain the previous month.

Over the weekend, government figures showed that the U.S. economy grew 4.1 per cent in the third quarter compared to a year earlier, and beating a previous estimate of 3.6 per cent.

The report reinforced the view that United States will lead the world's other developed economies in growth next year. The U.S. has the world's largest economies, which many exporters rely on for sales.

The Dow Jones industrial futures was ahead 54 points to 16,232, the Nasdaq futures jumped 20.70 points to 3,553 and the S&P 500 futures added eight points to 1,822.50.

Last week, the U.S. Federal Reserve surprised markets by deciding that its monthly asset purchases will be cut by $10 billion to $75 billion beginning in January. The central bank also hinted that it was open to reducing the purchases of Treasuries and mortgage-backed securities at future meetings.

The stimulus has kept interest rates low and helped prop up the stock market.

Meanwhile, overseas, Asian stocks rose despite worrisome news about a credit crunch in China.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng was up 0.7 per cent to 22,972.67 while China's Shanghai Composite added 0.4 per cent to 2,092.99. South Korea's KOSPI rose 0.7 per cent to 1,997.82.

Elsewhere, stocks in Taiwan, Singapore and New Zealand advanced. Tokyo stock markets were closed for a holiday.

Investors will be looking at China after last week's report that the country injected $50 billion into the markets to ease a cash squeeze. Last Thursday, the People's Bank of China injected liquidity after the interbank market showed stress, but concerns over a repeat of the summer's credit crunch still weighed on some stock markets last week.

In corporate news, French railway operator SNCF has exercised an option to buy an additional 30 Regio 2N double-deck electric passenger trains from Bombardier Inc. (TSX:BBD.B).

The Regio 2N double-deck electric train units are designed for use in intercity, regional and commuter services.

The order is valued at US$379 million and brings the total number of units that SNCF has ordered to 159, Bombardier announced Monday from Berlin, where its rail division has its global headquarters.

Commodities were all lower as the February crude fell 35 cents to US$98.97 a barrel.

Gold prices lost $4.40 to US$1,199.30 an ounce, while March copper was unchanged at $3.31 a pound.

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