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Bay Street May Open With Slightly Positive Bias

Canadian shares may open with a positive bias Wednesday morning, tracking higher crude oil prices.

However, concerns about rising coronavirus cases in several parts of the world may weigh on sentiment.

Investors will also be reacting to the data on Canada's trade balance. Data released by Statistics Canada a little while ago showed the country recorded a trade surplus of C$1.04 billion in February after coming in at a revised C$1.21 billion in the previous month.

Exports were down at C$49.86 billion in February, from C$51.22 billion a month earlier, while imports came in at $48.82 billion in the month, after coming in at C$50.02 billion in January.

At 9 AM ET, the Ivey PMI reading for March is due. The Ivey Purchasing Manager's Index in Canada rebounded to 60 in February of 2021 from 48.4 in the previous month, pointing to the strongest expansion in economic activity in 6 months.

The Canadian market hit fresh record high on Tuesday as the mood remained bullish amid continued optimism about global economic recovery. The benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index, which rose to 19,153.00, ended the day with a gain of 77.35 points or 0.41% at 19,104.14.

Algonquin Power Co. (AQN.TO), a subsidiary in the Liberty Renewable Energy Group of Algonquin Power & Utilities Corp., announced today that it has offered for sale C$400 million 2.85% senior unsecured debentures with a maturity date of July 15, 2031.

Asian stocks ended broadly higher on Wednesday, lifted by the upward revision in global growth forecast by the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The IMF raised this year's global economic growth forecast to 6% from its earlier estimate of 5.5%, citing additional fiscal measures by advanced economies and the rollout of vaccines.

European markets have drifted lower after a positive start with investors turning a bit cautious as they look ahead to the release of the minutes of the Federal Reserve's latest monetary policy meeting, for outlook on interest rates.

In commodities, West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for May are up $0.59 or 1.01% at $59.91 a barrel.

Gold futures are down $10.40 or 0.6% at $1,732.60 an ounce, while Silver futures are lower by $0.276 or 1.1% at $24.951 an ounce.

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