Canada's benchmark index looked set to start higher on Friday, driven by rising oil prices .

Action Economics said the oil market has seen heightened volatility of late, vaulting by over 6% from last Friday's lows through to this Wednesday's, and then diving be just over 4% through to yesterday's low. IEA data showing record output weighed on prices, although markets are also factoring in the impact of sanctions on Iranian energy exports. News of fresh trade talks between China and the US was a positive for crude markets, but Beijing said via the official China Daily newspaper that it would not give in to US demands while President Trump Twittered yesterday that he is in no rush to strike a deal.

Gains may be limited by the materials sector, as gold, silver, and copper were under pressure.

The TSX lost 47 points on Thursday, led by the decline in healthcare stocks.

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