TORONTO - The Toronto stock market was set for a higher open Thursday as job creation in the United States came in much higher than expected.
U.S. futures were also positive as the Labor Department reported that the American economy cranked out 288,000 jobs during June, while the jobless rate edged down to 6.1 per cent from 6.3 per cent.
Economists had forecast that about 215,000 jobs were cranked out during June but those estimates ticked higher Wednesday after payrolls firm ADP reported that the private sector created 281,000 jobs in June, much higher than the 205,000 reading that had been forecast.
The Canadian dollar declined 0.05 of a cent to 93.7 cents US.
Canadian employment data for June will be released July 11.
The Dow Jones industrial futures gained 15 points to 16,914, the Nasdaq futures rose 4.7 points to 3,894.5 while the S&P 500 futures were ahead 1.4 points to 1,969.1.
The American data was released before New York markets opened for a shortened session, closing at 1 p.m. EDT and remaining shuttered Friday for Independence Day.
In other economic developments, the European Central Bank kept its interest rates unchanged after its monthly policy meeting on Thursday despite signs that the 18-country eurozone economy is losing momentum. Last month, the ECB unveiled a raft of measures designed to shore up the recovery and prevent prices from falling. Among the policies announced was a reduction in the ECB’s main interest rate to 0.15 per cent.
Figures released Thursday showed that retail sales were flat in May while the June purchasing managers’ index _ a gauge of business activity _ from financial information company Markit edged back to a six-month low.
On the commodity markets, August crude moved down 56 cents to US$103.92 a barrel.
August bullion was already sharply lower and headed even lower after the jobs data, falling $19.90 to US$1,311 an ounce while September copper edged a cent lower to US$3.24 a pound.