Bay Street Seen Opening With Negative Bias; BoC Rate Decision In Focus

Canadian shares are likely to open with a negative bias on Wednesday, reacting to disappointing earnings updates from some top U.S. companies, and on concerns about a global economic recession.

The focus will be on the Bank of Canada's interest rate decision, due at 10 AM ET.

The central bank is widely expected to raise interest rates by 25 basis points to 4.5%, a 15-year high.

Data on manufacturing sales for the month of December is due at 8:30 AM ET.

After a weak start and a subsequent fall to lower levels, the Canadian market gradually pared its losses as the session progressed on Tuesday and briefly emerged into positive territory around late afternoon before finally settling flat.

The mood remained cautious with investors awaiting the Bank of Canada's interest rate decision on Wednesday.

The benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index, which dropped to 20,502.36, settled at 20,629.55, down 2.03 points from the previous close.

Asian stocks ended broadly higher on Wednesday amid expectations that the U.S. Federal Reserve could ease the pace of rate increases, citing slowing wage and inflation growth.

The upside, however, remained capped by a slew of disappointing U.S. earnings reports released after market close on Tuesday as well as data showing hotter-than-expected inflation in Australia.

Trading volumes were thin as markets in Taiwan, China and Hong Kong remained closed for the Lunar New Year holidays.

European stocks are weak today with investors digesting a slew of earnings updates from U.S. and European companies. Concerns about global economic slowdown continue to weigh on sentiment.

In commodities trading, West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures are down $0.14 or 0.17% at $79.99 a barrel.

Gold futures are down $8.40 or 0.43% at $1,927.00 an ounce, while Silver futures are lower by $0.229 or 0.95% at $23.520 an ounce.

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