Canadian stocks may struggle for direction at open Tuesday amid mixed cues from the commodities and global equity markets. While Asian markets ended mixed overnight, European stocks were hovering in the green as relief over Greece's election evaporated and traders switch focus to the two-day FOMC meeting.
U.S. stock futures were pointing to a higher open.
On Monday, the S&P/TSX Composite Index extended gains for a second session, adding 76.23 points or 0.66 percent to 11,601.13.
The price of crude oil was struggling to move higher Tuesday morning as traders fret over the developments in the euro zone after Greek leaders said they would form a group to renegotiate the agreed austerity measures. Crude for July edged up $0.12 to $83.39 a barrel.
The price of gold was steady around its two-week high Tuesday morning as the U.S. dollar was mixed ahead of the 2-day FOMC meeting. Gold for August edged up $4.50 to $1,631.50 an ounce.
In corporate news from Canada, commercial real estate company Brookfield Office Properties Inc. (BPO.TO) said it would buy a portfolio of premier office buildings and a development site in the London financial district from Hammerson Plc (HMSO.L) for $829 million.
Cable maker Belden Inc. (BDC) announced that through its wholly-owned subsidiary, it has commenced its offer to acquire all of the outstanding common shares of Miranda Technologies Inc. (MT.TO) for C$17.00 per share in cash
Fuel cell products maker Ballard Power Systems (BLD.TO) revised down its 2012 guidance assuming there are no bus module shipments to Brazil until 2013. Accordingly, the company now guides revenue of $85 million, down from earlier $100 million, and adjusted EBITDA of about negative $5 million, compared to a breakeven earlier.
In economic news, Statistics Canada said wholesale sales rose 1.5 percent in April to $49.3 billion, largely helped by higher sales in the agricultural supplies industry. Excluding this industry, wholesale sales were unchanged.
From the U.S., the Commerce Department put the number of privately owned housing starts at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 708,000 for May. While the May figure is 4.8 percent below the revised April estimate of 744,000, much of that drop comes as a result of revised figures that put the April rebound in housing starts notably higher than the 717,000 rate initially reported. The revised figures put the April housing starts at the highest rate since October 2008. Nevertheless, most economists had hoped to see at least a small continuation of the growth in May, forecasting an annual rate of housing starts at 720,000.
From the euro zone, U.K. annual inflation slowed unexpectedly in May to the lowest since November 2009, the Office for National Office said. Annual inflation eased to 2.8 percent, largely due to the slower increases in food and non-alcoholic beverage prices. Economists were expecting the rate to remain unchanged at 3 percent in May. Nonetheless, inflation continues to hover above the 2 percent target.
Meanwhile, survey results published by the Center For European Economic Research (ZEW) showed that German economic expectations declined more than expected in June. The ZEW Indicator of Economic Sentiment for Germany decreased by 27.7 points to a level of minus 16.9 points in June. This is the indicator's strongest decline since October 1998. Economists had forecast a decline to 2.3.
by RTT Staff Writer
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