Bay Street Likely To Open On Weak Note

Canadian shares are likely to open on a negative note on Thursday, tracking a sell-off in European markets, and weak crude oil prices, amid rising concerns about the crisis in the financial sector.

Following the terrible collapse of Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank in the U.S., global stocks are taking a severe hammering now following reports about Swiss banking giant Credit Suisse's short-term debt woes.

Credit Suisse shares are plunging following Saudi National Bank saying it would not be able to offer more financial help. Several bank stocks in Europe, including BNP Paribas, Commerzbank, Societe Generale and Deutsche Bank suffered sharp losses this morning.

U.S. index futures are down sharply, and the Canadian S&P/TSX futures are falling as well, pointing to a weak opening on Bay Street.

The Canadian market ended on a firm note on Tuesday despite paring most of its early gains. The mood was positive as data showing U.S. consumer prices rising in line with expectations in February supported expectations for a smaller rate hike by the Federal Reserve this month.

The benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index ended with a gain of 105.26 points or 0.54% at 19,694.16, snapping a three-day losing streak.

Asian stocks closed higher on Wednesday as data showing a recovery in China's economic activity helped outweigh concerns about U.S. bank contagion fears.

European stocks are plunging sharply with investors keeping a close eye on the developments surrounding the SVB crisis, and the debt woes of Swiss bank Credit Suisse.

In commodities trading, West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures are down $1.26 or 1.77% at $70.07 a barrel.

Gold futures are gaining $17.30 or about 0.91% at $1,928.20 an ounce, while Silver futures are up $0.290 or 1.3% at $22.330 an ounce.

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