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Bay Street Likely To Open On Weak Note

Canadian shares are likely to open lower Monday morning amid concerns about the surge in coronavirus cases and uncertainty about interest rates.

Sluggish commodity prices and weakness in European markets may also weigh on stocks.

According to reports, the overall number of coronavirus cases is fast approaching 307 million with the spread of the Omicron variant of the virus across the globe.

On the interest rate front, the first U.S. rate hike could be in March, with Goldman expecting the Fed to raise borrowing costs at least four times by the end of 2022 versus the previous prediction of three rate hike.

The inflation data due later in the week as well as the Fed Chairman Jerome Powell's testimony in the Senate are likely to provide additional clues about the central bank's stance on rate hikes.

The Canadian market ended slightly up on Friday after moving along the flat line for much of the day's session as investors refrained from making significant moves. The mood was cautious amid uncertainty about the near term outlook for the market. Investors digested the jobs data from Canada and the U.S.

The benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index ended with a small gain of 12.25 points or 0.06% at 21,084.45, after scaling a low of 20,942.37 and a high of 21,113.17 intraday.

Asian stocks turned in a mixed performance on Monday as the Omicron Covid-19 variant continued to spread rapidly around the world and traders pondered the possibility of the U.S. Federal Reserve's faster-than-expected tapering and rate hikes.

European stocks are trading weak with investors largely making cautious moves amid surging Covid-19 infections around the world and increasing uncertainty about interest rate outlook.

In commodities, West Texas International Crude oil futures are down $0.54 or 0.68% at $78.36 a barrel.

Gold futures are up $1.40 or 0.08% at $1,798.80 an ounce, while Silver futures are up slightly at $22.410 an ounce.

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