Canadian stocks are poised for positive open Wednesday amid steady commodities and encouraging cues from the global equity markets. Asian stocks followed global markets to settle higher overnight on the back of solid U.S. earnings and relatively upbeat new home sales data. Meanwhile, European stocks rose for a fourth consecutive session amid speculation global central banks will keep interest rates low and step up economic stimulus to boost growth.
U.S. Stock futures were pointing to a flat open
On Tuesday, the S&P/TSX Composite Index settled flat at 12,090.94.
The price of crude oil was moving higher Wednesday morning as traders await cues on inventories position from the official data, due out later during the session. Analysts expect crude oil inventories to gain 2 million barrels and gasoline stocks to shed 600,000 barrels last week. Yesterday, Goldman Sachs cut its three-month outlook for Brent to $100 a barrel from $110 and lowered its 2013 forecast to $105 from $110, citing slower oil demand in China, the world's second- largest crude consumer.
Crude for June delivery added $0.16 to $89.34 a barrel.
The price of gold was moving higher Wednesday morning despite a steady US dollar and continued drop in ETF holdings. Holdings of SPDR Gold Trust, the world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, moved down to 1,097.19 tons from 1,104.71 tons. Gold for June gained $22.30 to $1,431.10 an ounce.
In corporate news from Canada, Barrick Gold Corp. (ABX.TO) reported lower first-quarter net earnings of $847 million or $0.85 per share versus last year's $1.04 billion or $1.04 per share, largely driven by lower realized gold and copper prices. On an adjusted basis, net earnings amounted to $923 million or $0.92 per basic share in the recent period. Analysts expected earnings per share of $0.91 for the quarter
Scotiabank (BNS.TO) said it has acquired 50 percent of BBVA's pension fund management business, AFP Horizonte, in Peru for approximately C$260 million.
Transportation services provider Canadian Pacific Railway (CP.TO) reported that its first-quarter of 2013 net income increased to C$217 million, or C$1.24 per share from C$142 million, or C$0.82 per share in the first quarter of 2012. Analysts expected the company to report earnings of C$1.21 per share for the quarter.
In economic news from the U.S., the Commerce Department said that durable goods orders tumbled by 5.7 percent in March following a revised 4.3 percent increase in February. Economists had expected orders to drop by 2.8 percent compared to the 5.6 percent increase that had been reported for the previous month. Excluding a sharp drop in orders for transportation equipment, durable goods orders still fell by 1.4 percent in March versus a 1.7 percent drop in February.
From the euro zone, Germany's business confidence deteriorated more than economists expected in April, reports said citing a survey from the Ifo Institute. The headline business confidence index dropped to 104.4 April from 106.7 in March. Economists had forecast the index to decline to 106.2. The expectations sub-index declined to 101.6 from 103.6 in February. It was forecast to drop to 103.
Meanwhile, the number of mortgage approvals for house purchase in the U.K. increased in March, data released by the British Bankers' Association (BBA) showed. Mortgage approvals totaled 31,227 in March, up from 30,579 in February. Economists had forecast approvals to rise to 31,400.
by RTT Staff Writer
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