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Bay Street Seen Opening Slightly Weak

Canadian shares look headed for a slightly lower opening on Thursday, as investors are likely to tread cautiously after three successive days of gains.

Lower Canadian and U.S. futures too point to a weak start for the market. With the U.S. Federal Reserve scheduled to announce its rate decision later in the day, activity is likely to be stock specific with quarterly earnings and other corporate news providing some direction.

The Fed is widely expected to keep interest rate unchanged. Investors will be looking ahead to the accompanying statement for clues on future rate hikes.

Energy stocks may see some buying on slightly higher crude oil prices, but find it a bit tough to hold at higher levels. Sluggish gold prices may result in some listless movements in the materials space.

On Wednesday, the benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index ended with a gain of 76.72 points, or o.5% at 15,369.43. The index scaled a low of 15,293.25 and a high of 15,392.00 in the session.

In company news, Canadian Tire Corporation Limited (CTC.TO) announced an increase of $0.55 or 15.3% in the annual dividend from $3.60 to $4.15 per share on each Class A non-voting and common share. The company said its consolidated adjusted normalized EBITDA increased by 14.8% in the third quarter.

Magna International Inc. (MG.TO) has lowered its full year earnings guidance. The company now expects full-year adjusted net income attributable to company in a range of $2.3 billion to $2.4 billion, on total sales between $40.3 billion and $41.4 billion, as against its earlier projection of adjusted net income in the range of $2.4 billion to $2.6 billion on net sales between $40.3 billion and $42.5 billion.

Bombardier Inc. (BBD_B.TO) reported that its third-quarter net income was $149 million or $0.04 per share, compared to a loss of $100 million or $0.04 per share in the same quarter last year. Bombardier also announced the sale of a number of non-core assets. It will reduce about 5,000 positions across the organization over the next 12 to 18 months.

Nuvo Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NRI.TO) reported net loss of $2.4 million for the three months ended September 30, 2018 compared to a net loss of $0.2 million for the three months ended September 30, 2017.

In commodities, crude oil futures for December were gaining about 0.3% at $61.85 a barrel. Gold futures were down 0.11% at 1,225.00 an ounce and Silver futures were lower by 0.23% at $14.495 an ounce.

European markets opened on a firm note but pared some gains as the session progressed.

In economic news from Europe, Germany's exports and imports declined unexpectedly in September, official data revealed. Exports dropped 0.8 percent month-on-month, reversing a 0.1 percent rise in August, while imports slid 0.4 percent following August's 2.4 percent decrease. Economists had forecast a 0.3 percent rise in exports and a 0.8 percent increase in imports.

Asian stocks ended mostly higher on Thursday, with investors picking up stocks, after having stayed away on the sidelines for most part of the previous session.

In economic news from Asia, China's exports and imports both increased more than expected in October. China's exports grew 15.6 percent annually, beating forecasts for an 11.7% jump, imports were up 21.4 percent in the month, compared to the forecast of 14.7 percent. The trade surplus came in at $34 billion in the month versus the expected level of $35.1 billion.

In U.S. news, a report on jobless claims for the week ended November 3, is due at 8:30 AM ET. The Federal Reserve's monetary policy announcement is due at 2 PM ET.

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