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Bay Street Seen Opening Higher

Canadian shares are likely to open on a positive note Wednesday morning, tracking higher crude oil prices, U.S. futures, and a firm trend in European markets.

The focus will be on the Federal Reserve's monetary policy announcement, due at 2 PM ET. The central bank is widely expected to hold rates unchanged. It's views on the economy, inflation target and possible timeline for tapering of bond-buying program hold the clues for the market.

The Canadian market stayed in positive territory right through the day's session, with firm global markets, higher commodity prices, and hopes about fiscal stimulus following Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's return to power for a third term aiding sentiment. The S&P/TSX Composite Index ended the session with a gain of 89.75 points or 0.45% at 20,244.29.

Aurora Cannabis Inc (ACB.TO) said on Tuesday it will shut down a facility in Edmonton, Alberta. The company, which has been reeling under the impact of the pandemic since last year, said medical distribution from the Aurora Polaris facility that is being shut down will move to an adjacent factory called Aurora Sky, while manufacturing will move to its Aurora River factory in Ontario.

Asian stock markets ended mixed on Wednesday, as the looming Fed announcement and Evergrande continued to reverberate, albeit on a lesser note. While major benchmarks in Australia and New Zealand ended positive, Japanese stocks closed weak. Markets in Hong Kong and Korea were closed due to local holidays.

European stocks are up in positive territory with traders building up positions, shrugging off concerns about Chinese real estate major Evergrande's financial woes, and looking ahead to the Federal Reserve's policy announcement.

In commodities, West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for November are up $0.84 or 1.2% at $71.33 a barrel, after a report from the American Petroleum Institute showed crude stockpiles in the U.S. saw a larger than expected drop last week.

Gold futures are down $4.90 or 0.27% at $1,773.30 an ounce, while Silver futures are gaining $0.049 or 0.22% at $22.660 an ounce.

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