Futures for Canada’s main stock index fell on Friday over fears of a sharp global economic slowdown amid aggressive rate hikes by central banks looking to tame red-hot inflation.

The TSX Composite retreated 165.98 points to close Thursday at 19,560.16.

Futures dipped 0.5% early Friday.

The Canadian dollar shed 0.14 cents to 75.34 cents U.S.

On the economic front, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation reported housing starts of 267,309 units in August, up from 264,467 units in July.

Statistics Canada came out saying wholesale sales fell 0.6% in July, largely due to declines in the personal and household goods sub-sector.

Also, foreign investors acquired $14.8 billion of Canadian securities, while Canadian investors added $4.3 billion of foreign securities to their holdings.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange sank 16.38 points, or 2.5%, Thursday to 637.49

ON WALLSTREET

U.S. stock futures fell on Friday as Wall Street headed toward a big losing week, and traders absorbed an ugly earnings warning from FedEx about the global economy.

Futures for the Dow Jones Industrials slumped 236 points, or 0.8%, early Friday to 30,836.

Futures for the S&P 500 dropped 32.5 points, or 0.8%, to 3,886.75

Futures for the NASDAQ Composite Index fell 116- points, or 1%, to 11,891.50.

Shares of FedEx plunged 19% after the shipments company withdrew its full-year guidance and said it will implement cost-cutting initiatives to contend with soft global shipment volumes as the global economy “significantly worsened.”

The three major averages were on pace to notch their fourth losing week in five as a comeback rally looks increasingly like a bear market bounce.

The Dow has declined 3.7% this week, while the S&P 500 is 4.1% lower. The NASDAQ is down 4.6%, headed toward its worst weekly loss since June.

The bulk of the losses came on Tuesday following a surprisingly hot reading in August’s consumer price index report, with the Dow losing 1,200 points in its worst decline in two years.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 index fell 1.1% Friday, while in Hong Kong, the Hang Seng gave back 0.9%.

Oil prices gained 64 cents to $85.74 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices dished off $4.40 to $1,692.90 U.S. an ounce.

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