TSX Headed For Flat To Slightly Lower Start

TSX Headed For Flat To Slightly Lower Start

Sliding commodity prices and weakness in Asian and European markets point to a flat to negative start for Canadian stocks on Wednesday.

Also, with the Federal Reserve set to release its monetary policy later in the day and the Bank of England’s policy due tomorrow, investors are likely to tread cautiously.

It is widely expected that the Fed will hold rates unchanged. The central bank’s accompanying note is keenly awaited for clues on future rate hikes.

The U.S. crude inventory data from the Energy Information Administration will make an impact on crude futures, which in turn is expected to trigger some heavy activity in Canadian energy stocks later on in the session.

Gold stocks may once again stay sluggish as the bullion continues to struggle for support.

On Tuesday, the benchmark S&P/TSX ended up 88.54 points or 0.54% at 16,434.01, well off an early low of 16,324.66.

In company news, Molson Coors Canada, the Canadian business unit of Molson Coors Brewing Co. (TPX.TO) announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement with Canadian cannabis producer Hydropothecary Corp. or HEXO (HEXO.TO).

Hydro One Inc. (H.TO) announced today that it has reached a definitive agreement to acquire the business and distribution assets of Peterborough Distribution Inc. from the City of Peterborough, ON, for a consideration of $105 million.

Akumin Inc. (AKU.U.TO) has announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire a freestanding, fixed-site outpatient diagnostic imaging business located in Florida.

Among other stock markets, Disappointing data on Chinese manufacturing activity and worries about U.S.- China trade conflicts rendered Asian markets weak today.

Major European markets got off to a weak start on trade war worries, weak eurozone manufacturing data and caution ahead of Federal Reserve’s monetary policy and the Bank of England’s rate decision.

Concerns about trade war rose again on reports the Trump administration is planning to propose a 25% tariff on goods worth over $200 billion imported from China, instead of the original proposal for a 10% levy.

In commodities, crude oil futures for September delivery are down $0.82 or 1.21% at $67.94 a barrel.

According to a report released by the American Petroleum Institute on Tuesday evening, crude oil inventories rose by 5.59 million barrels last week, as against forecasts for a drawdown of about 3 million barrels.

Natural gas futures for September are down $0.011 or 0.40% at $2.771 per million btu.

Gold futures for December, the most active contract, are down $2.20 or 0.16% at $1,231.60 an ounce.

Silver futures for September are down $0.089 or 0.57% at $15.470 an ounce, while Copper futures are lower by $0.072 or 2.56% at $2.759 per pound.

by RTTNews Staff Writer

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