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Canadian Stocks May See Rough Open -- Canadian Commentary

Canadian stocks were set for a lackluster open Wednesday morning amid U.S. protectionism fears and a weak loonie.

White House chief economic adviser Gary Cohn, an advocate for free trade, resigned from the Trump administration Tuesday.

Cohn's departure is raising concerns that Trump will go ahead with his plan to impose tariffs and risk a trade war.

The Bank of Canada makes its interest rate decision this morning. No change is expected for monetary policy.

In economic news, Canada's merchandise trade deficit totalled $1.9 billion in January, narrowing from a $3.1 billion deficit in December. Imports decreased 4.3% and exports fell 2.1%.

A report released by payroll processor ADP on Wednesday showed private sector employment in the U.S. increased by more than expected in the month of February.

ADP said employment in the private sector jumped by 235,000 jobs in February after surging up by a revised 244,000 jobs in January.

Crude oil futures fell Wednesday amid speculation that U.S. oil production will rise sharply.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration boosted its 2018 and 2019 forecasts on U.S. crude-oil production, according to the agency's monthly Short-Term Energy Outlook report released Tuesday.

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