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Bay Street Seen Opening On Cautious Note

Canadian shares are likely to open on a cautious note on Tuesday, tracking the largely sluggish trend seen in Asian and European markets.

With the focus on upcoming monetary policy meetings of the Federal Reserve, the European Central Bank and the Bank of Japan, investors are unlikely to make significant moves and activity may well remain stock specific with corporate news providing some direction.

Higher crude oil prices may be a positive for the market.

According to the data released a little while ago, housing starts in Canada increased to 226,600 units in August from 222,500 units a month earlier.

Data on building permits will be out at 8:30 AM ET.

On Monday, the benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index ended down 40.24 points, or 0.24%, at 16,495.09, extending losses to a second session.

In company news, Encana Corp. (ECA.TO) announced that Michael McAllister has been promoted as the president of the company and Greg Givens has been appointed the chief operating officer. McAllister previously served as the company's executive vice president and chief operating officer, while Givens previously served as vice president and general manager of Texas Operations.

Suncor Energy Inc. (SU.TO) said it will spend $1.4 billion to replace its coke-fired boilers with two cogeneration units at its oilsands base plant north of Fort McMurray, Alta. The company says the units will provide steam generation for its extraction and upgrading operations and generate 800 megawatts of power.

Shopify Inc. (SHOP.TO) announced that it will buy fulfilment solutions company 6 River Systems Inc. in a US$450 million cash and share deal as it looks to push further into the warehousing and shipping side of online retail.

Asian markets ended mixed on Tuesday as Chinese inflation data signaled weakness in domestic and overseas demand. Markets were also looking ahead to the meetings of the European Central Bank, the Federal Reserve and Bank of Japan for fresh clues on monetary policy outlook.

European stocks were turning in a mixed performance amid lackluster moves by investors ahead of crucial central banks meeting and weak inflation data out of China.

In commodities, crude oil futures for October were rising $0.55, or 0.95%, at $58.40 a barrel.

Gold futures for December were declining $11.40, or 0.75%, at 1,499.70 an ounce.

Silver futures for December were down $0.152, or 0.84%, at $18.015 an ounce, while Copper futures for December were down $0.0205, or 0.78% at $2.6070 per pound.

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