The Toronto stock market headed for a positive open Tuesday in what is expected to be a relatively subdued session due to the continued closure of New York stock markets because of Superstorm Sandy.
The superstorm has left a large swath of New York City without power, and subways and vehicle tunnels have been flooded.
Originally, the NYSE had planned to close just its exchange floor and allow traders to buy and sell stock electronically. Then it decided to shut down electronic trading, too.
The NYSE said it was worried about putting staff that were needed to help run the electronic trading in danger. The NYSE has said it intends to resume trading Wednesday, through its Arca electronic trading system if floor trading is not possible.
The Canadian dollar was up 0.06 of a cent to 99.98 cent US after closing below parity with the U.S. currency Monday for the first time since early August.
New York futures were lower with the Dow Jones industrial futures down 24 points to 13,030, the Nasdaq points dropped 9.8 points to 2,649.2 and the S&P 500 futures dipped 0.4 of a point to 1,407.2. Futures were to trade until 9:15 a.m. EDT.
Bond markets in the U.S. were also closed for a second session.
The CME Group also cancelled floor trading in New York Chicago but commodity trading carried on electronically.
December crude gained 43 cents to US$85.97 a barrel. At the same time, there are questions about where crude prices are headed given the effect on refineries from the storm. The biggest operations in the Northeastern U.S. have shut down or cut back sharply and analysts said the impact on oil demand could be significant.
Metal prices advanced with December copper ahead three cents to US$3.52 a pound while December bullion rose $5.50 to US$1.714.12 an ounce.
Traders also took in earnings news from major players in the Canadian resource sector.
Canadian Oil Sands Ltd. posted net income of $338 million or 70 cents a share, beating estimates by 15 cents. The company, which owns a 37% stake in the Syncrude Canada oilsands mine north of Fort McMurray, Alta., increased its 2012 cash flow guidance by 20%.
Talisman Energy Inc. reported a net loss of $731 million, largely as a result of asset write-downs in various parts of the world including its shale operations in Quebec and its offshore operations in Norway.
The international oil and gas producer said it’s determined to return to profitability after the loss, which was worse than analyst estimates, and will reduce capital spending in 2013 to the lowest level in several years.
And in the U.S., Ford’s third-quarter profit eased 1% to US$1.63 billion or 41 cents a share as European losses swamped record North American profits.
Before special items, it earned 40 cents, beating Wall Street’s forecast of 30 cents. Ford’s revenue fell 3% to $32.1 billion as vehicle sales dropped in Europe and South America.
The storm is also playing havoc with economic data.
The U.S. Conference Board is delaying the release of its consumer confidence index for October until Thursday. The Conference Board says it decided on the delay to help assure the safety of its staff and people who follow the index. The storm has left transportation difficult or impossible in many places and millions of people without power.
There is also doubt whether the U.S. Labour Department will release its October non-farm payrolls report on Friday.
Dozens of U.S. companies have also postponed their quarterly earnings reports.
European markets advanced with London’s FTSE 100 index ahead 0.77%, Frankfurt’s DAX gained 0.91% and the Paris CAC 40 was ahead 1.06%.
Earlier in Asia, Japan’s Nikkei 225 index fell 1% after the Bank of Japan announced it was expanding a bond-buying program to help spur growth. Some analysts said they were disappointed by the small size of the program.
The announcement followed a report showing Japan’s industrial output contracted by 4.1% in September from August and 8.1% from a year earlier.
Elsewhere, South Korea’s Kospi index rose 0.4% but Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index fell 0.4%. Benchmarks in Mainland China, also rose.
In Asia, traders are also waiting for China’s once-in-a-decade National Party Congress on Nov. 8, which will usher in a new crop of party leaders.