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Bay Street Likely To Open On Mixed Note

Canadian shares are likely to open on a mixed note Wednesday morning amid cautious moves by investors. The focus will be on the central bank's rate decision, due this morning, and the upcoming U.S. inflation data, due on Thursday.

The Bank of Canada is scheduled to announce is monetary policy at 10 AM ET. The central bank is widely expected to hold its policy rates and QE steady. The bank is not likely to make any policy changes as well.

The bank's overnight policy rate remains at 0.25% since March 2020. The bank has said earlier that it is unlikely to raise rates until the second half of 2022. The bank's views on inflation and economic growth are likely to make an impact on price movements in the market.

The Canadian market ended modestly higher on Tuesday, after a lackluster session as investors refrained from making significant moves due to a lack of positive triggers. The benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index, which scaled a new peak at 20,106.20, ended the session with a gain of 30.62 points or 0.15% at 20,065.92.

Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO), Cenovus Energy (CVE.TO), Imperial Oil (IMO.TO), MEG Energy (MEG.TO) and Suncor Energy (SU.TO), the companies which operate about 90% of Canada's oil sands production, have announced the Oil Sands Pathways to Net Zero initiative.

Cenovus Energy noted that the goal of the alliance, working collectively with the federal and Alberta governments, is to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions from oil sands operations by 2050 to help Canada meet its climate goals, including its Paris Agreement commitments and 2050 net zero aspirations.

Asian stocks ended broadly lower on Wednesday with investors digesting mixed Chinese inflation data, and looking ahead to the release of U.S. inflation data to have a clue on how soon the Federal Reserve might start tapering its stimulus program.

European markets are exhibiting weakness as investors look ahead to upcoming U.S. inflation data and the European Central Bank's monetary policy meeting, both due on Thursday, for directional cues.

In commodities, West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for July are up $0.35 or 0.5% at $70.40 a barrel.

Gold futures are down marginally at $1,893.30 an ounce, while Silver futures are gaining $0.049 or 0.18% at $27.780 an ounce.

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