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TSX Poised For Weak Open - Canadian Commentary


Canadian stocks are poised for a weak open Wednesday as traders might turn cautious just ahead of an interest rate decision from the Bank of Canada and an important U.S. vote to pass a short-term debt ceiling increase. Further, investors may prefer to book profits as the main index gained for the past four day to hit 18-month high in the previous session.

The Bank of Canada, which is scheduled to announce its rate decision at 10.00 a.m ET, is widely expected to leave its key rates unchanged at 1 percent.

U.S. stock futures were pointing to a marginally lower open.

On Tuesday, the S&P/TSX Composite Index extended gains for a fourth session,adding 30.38 points or 0.24 percent to 12,824.63, levels not seen since July 2011.

The price of crude oil was trading firm near its 4-month high Wednesday morning ahead of an important U.S. vote to pass a short-term debt ceiling increase. Crude for March added $0.01 to $96.69 a barrel.

The price of gold was tittle changed Wednesday morning as the US dollar continued to trade weak versus a basket of currencies. Gold for February delivery edged up $1.00 to $1,694.20 an ounce.

In corporate news from Canada, food retailer Metro Inc. (MRU.TO) said that it has agreed to sell a portion of its stake in convenience store operator Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. (ATD_B.TO) for gross proceeds of C$479 million.

Chile focused copper miner Celestica Inc. (CLS.TO) reported lower fourth-quarter net earnings of $7.2 million or $0.04 per share compared to $69.2 million or $0.32 per share last year. Adjusted earnings for the quarter dropped to $50.3 million or $0.25 per share from $71.1 million or $0.33 per share last year. Analysts expected earnings of $0.19 per share for the quarter.

Aurizon Mines ( ARZ.TO) unanimously recommended that shareholders reject the hostile take-over bid received from Alamos Gold Inc. (AGI.TO). Alamos proposes to acquire all of the outstanding common shares of Aurizon for C$4.65 per share.

In economic news from Europe, Bank of England policymakers voted 8-1 to maintain the size of quantitative easing at GBP 375 billion, the minutes of the meeting showed Wednesday. David Miles sought an increase of GBP 25 billion to GBP 400 billion. The Monetary Policy Committee unanimously decided to retain the record low 0.50 percent interest rate.

The number of persons claiming jobless benefits in the UK declined unexpectedly in December, the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics showed The number of jobless claims or the claimant count declined by 12,100 from a month earlier to 1.56 million in December. Economists expected an increase of 500 claimants.

by RTTNews Staff Writer

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