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CANADA STOCKS-TSX futures higher as oil price gains

March 24 Stock futures pointed to a higher opening for Canada's main stock index on Friday as oil prices rose, supported by a fall in Saudi crude exports to the United States in March.

Saudi Arabia's exports cut, in line with OPEC's agreement to reduce supply, is the largest cut in production after the agreement reached last year by both OPEC and non-OPEC producers to reduce output.

June futures on the S&P TSX index were up 0.11 percent at 7:10 a.m. ET.

Inflation data for February is due at 8:30 a.m. ET.

Canada's main stock index closed higher on Thursday, led by heavyweight financial sector shares a day after the federal budget held off from raising taxes on investors.

Dow Jones Industrial Average e-mini futures were up 0.2 percent at 7:10 a.m. ET, while S&P 500 e-mini futures were up 0.17 percent and Nasdaq 100 e-mini futures were up 0.21 percent.

(Morning News Call newsletter here ; The Day Ahead newsletter here)

TOP STORIES

The Canadian budget released this week added little stimulus spending, but recent signs of economic strength and federal funds already in the pipeline have boosted expectations that the Bank of Canada may have to shed its doom-and-gloom outlook.

Canada's BRP Inc reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit on Friday, helped by strong demand for its snowmobiles, watercraft and other recreational vehicles.

Uber Canada on Thursday urged the Canadian government to retain a tax advantage available to ride-services companies, a day after the country's Liberal administration proposed removing the measure.

ANALYST RESEARCH HIGHLIGHTS

Detour Gold Corp: CIBC cuts target price to C$17 from C$21

COMMODITIES AT 7:10 a.m. ET

Gold futures: $1,243.8; -0.27 pct

US crude: $47.95; +0.52 pct

Brent crude: $50.76; +0.4 pct

LME 3-month copper: $5,818.00; -0.12 pct

U.S. ECONOMIC DATA DUE ON FRIDAY

08:30 Building permits R number mm for Feb: Prior 1.213 mln

08:30 Building permits R change mm for Feb: Prior -6.2 pct

08:30 Durable goods for Feb: Expected 1.2 pct; Prior 2.0 pct

08:30 Durables ex-transport for Feb: Expected 0.5 pct; Prior 0.0 pct

08:30 Durables ex-defense mm for Feb: Prior 1.6 pct

08:30 Nondefense cap ex-air for Feb: Expected 0.6 pct; Prior -0.1 pct

09:45 Markit Composite Flash PMI for Mar: Prior 54.10

09:45 Markit Services PMI Flash for Mar: Expected 54.2; Prior 53.8

10:30 ECRI Weekly Index : Prior 145.5

10:30 ECRI weekly annualized: Prior 9.6 pct

10:45 Markit Manufacturing PMI Flash for Mar: Expected 54.8; Prior 54.2

FOR CANADIAN MARKETS NEWS, CLICK ON CODES:

TSX market report

Canadian dollar and bonds report

Reuters global stocks poll for Canada

Canadian markets directory ($1= C$1.34)

(Reporting by Astha Rawat in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D'Souza)

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