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Bay Street Likely To Stay Cautious Ahead Of BoC Policy, Powell's Testimony

The Canadian stock market is likely to see a cautious start on Wednesday, with investors looking ahead to Bank of Canada's rate decision and the Fed Chairman Jerome Powell's testimony before the Congress.

Crude oil's sharp uptick could trigger some strong buying in the energy space and push the market up.

It is widely expected that the Canadian central bank will hold interest rates unchanged at 1.75%.

On Tuesday, the benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index ended with a gain of 82.26 points, or 0.5%, at 16,545.21, the day's high. In early trades, the index dropped to a low of 16,421.66.

Asian stocks ended broadly higher on Wednesday in cautious trade as investors awaited Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell's congressional testimony for clues about the central bank's outlook for interest rates.

European markets were slightly weak amid cautious moves by investors ahead of Powell's testimony. Investors were also tracking news on the trade front, where U.S. and Chinese trade officials reportedly held a "constructive" phone conversation on Tuesday.

In commodities, crude oil futures for August were up $1.30, or 2.25%, at $59.13 a barrel.

Gold futures for August were declining $4.60, or 0.33%, at $1,395.90 an ounce.

Silver futures for September were down $0.017, or 0.11%, at $15.130 an ounce, while Copper futures for September were rising $0.0430, or 1.64%, at $2.6680 per pound.

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