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Bay Street Likely To See Positive Start

Canadian shares are likely to open with a positive bias Wednesday morning, tracking higher crude oil prices and reacting to some decent quarterly earnings reports.

However, concerns about inflation and sluggish gold prices may weigh on the market and limit upside.

The Canadian market ended weak on Tuesday despite closing well off the session's low. The benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index, which tanked to 18,021.88 in early trades, losing nearly 400 points in the process, ended the session with a loss of 86.65 points or 0.47% at 18,330.09.

Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO) reported first quarter earnings per share of C$2.66 compared to C$2.40, a year ago. On average, 11 analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected the company to report profit per share of C$2.26, for the quarter.

Bausch Health Companies Inc. (BHC.TO) reported that its fourth-quarter net loss narrowed to $153 million from $1.516 billion for the fourth quarter of 2019. GAAP loss per share was $0.43, compared to a loss of $4.30 in the prior year. Bausch's adjusted net income for the fourth quarter was $478 million, compared to $404 million in the previous year.

Asian stocks ended weak on Wednesday as persistent worries over inflation and steep asset valuations offset signs that the U.S. Federal Reserve would continue its fiscal policy support.

European stocks are edging higher after a weak start. Concerns over high valuations and likely rise in inflation weighed on stocks earlier in the day, while positive data from Germany and signs that the U.S. Federal Reserve would continue its fiscal policy support helped pull stocks from lower levels.

In commodities, West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures are rising $0.65 or 1.07% at $62.32 a barrel.

Gold futures are down slightly at $1,805.10 an ounce, while Silver futures are up $0.175 or 0.62% at $27.863 an ounce.

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