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Canadian Stocks Are Nearly Flat Ahead Of Fed Decision - Canadian Commentary

The Canadian stock market is little changed in early trade Wednesday. Traders appear reluctant to make any major moves ahead of today's policy decision from the Federal Reserve.

The majority of the European markets are logging modest gains Wednesday. The Euro is weakening against the dollar ahead of today's Fed announcement.

Markets on Wall Street are little changed in early trade Wednesday. Traders are in a cautious mood ahead of the release of the Fed decision this afternoon. The central bank is widely expected to hike interest rates by a quarter point.

The benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index is up 23.45 points or 0.14 percent at 16,312.43.

On Tuesday, the index closed up by 25.69 points or 0.16 percent, at 16,263.29. The index scaled an intraday high of 16,290.82 and a low of 16,240.61.

The Capped Healthcare Index is higher by 1.08 percent. Valeant Pharmaceuticals International (VRX.TO) is rising 0.95 percent.

The Capped Information Technology Index is gaining 0.86 percent. BlackBerry (BB.TO) is increasing 0.44 percent and Descartes Systems Group (DSG.TO) is advancing 0.05 percent. Constellation Software (CSU.TO) is adding 0.85 percent.

The heavyweight Financial Index is increasing 0.20 percent. Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO) is climbing 0.04 percent and National Bank of Canada (NA.TO) is increasing 0.58 percent. Bank of Montreal (BMO.TO) is gaining 0.20 percent and Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CM.TO) is adding 0.46 percent. Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO) is advancing 0.55 percent.

The Energy Index is rising 0.17 percent. Crude oil prices are up slightly Wednesday morning.

The American Petroleum Institute (API) reported a draw of 730,000 barrels of United States crude oil inventories for the week ending June 8. That's less than forecast. At the same time, there was a gasoline surplus of 2.3 million barrels.

Suncor Energy (SU.TO) is up 0.19 percent and Encana (ECA.TO) is rising 0.54 percent. Crescent Point Energy (CPG.TO) is climbing 0.81 percent and Cenovus Energy (CVE.TO) is adding 0.39 percent. Husky Energy (HSE.TO) is gaining 0.26 percent.

The Gold Index is decreasing 0.390 percent. Gold prices are up slightly this morning, holding around $1300 an ounce ahead of the Fed announcement.

Goldcorp (G.TO) is falling 0.65 percent and Barrick Gold (ABX.TO) is losing 0.58 percent.

The Capped Materials Index is down 0.17 percent. Franco-Nevada (FNV.TO) is losing 0.59 percent.

AltaGas Ltd. (ALA.TO) will sell 35 percent of its interest in the Northwest British Columbia Hydro Electric Facilities for $922 million. The stock is climbing 1.87 percent.

On the economic front, Eurozone industrial production decreased in April after recovering in the previous month, data from Eurostat showed Wednesday. Industrial output fell 0.9 percent month-over-month in April, reversing a 0.6 percent increase in March, which revised up from 0.5 percent.

Eurozone employment grew at a slightly faster pace in the three months ended March, data from Eurostat showed Wednesday. Employment rose 0.4 percent sequentially in the March quarter, just above the 0.3 percent increase in the previous month. There were 157.2 million employed in the euro area.

UK inflation remained stable in May, the Office for National Statistics reported Wednesday. Consumer price inflation held steady at 2.4 percent, the lowest since March 2017, and in line with expectations.

British house price inflation eased further in April to the lowest level in just over a year, figures from the Office for National Statistics showed Wednesday. The house price index climbed 3.9 percent year-over-year in April, slower than March's 4.2 percent rise.

Reflecting a sharp jump in energy prices, the Labor Department released a report on Wednesday showing a bigger than expected increase in U.S. producer prices in the month of May. The Labor Department said its producer price index for final demand climbed by 0.5 percent in May after inching up by 0.1 percent in April. Economists had expected producer prices to rise by 0.3 percent.

In commodities, crude oil futures for July delivery are up 0.18 or 0.27 percent at $66.54 a barrel.

Natural gas for July is up 0.03 or 1.02 percent at $2.969 per million btu.

Gold futures for August are up 1.29 or 0.10 percent at $1,300.70 an ounce.

Silver for July is up 0.114 or 0.67 percent at $17.005 an ounce.

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