Futures Stumble on Bank Rate Day

CN, Rogers in Forefront


Futures tracking Canada's main stock index fell on Wednesday, as investors feared the Bank of Canada will opt for further interest rate hikes later in the day, while dour corporate earnings in the U.S. added to the gloom.

The TSX came to within 2.03 points of breakeven to close Tuesday’s session at 20,629.55.

March futures on the S&P/TSX index tumbled 0.4% Wednesday morning.

The Canadian dollar inched up 0.02 cents to 74.79 cents U.S.

Today is, of course, bank rate day, with the Bank of Canada expected to raise interest rates 25 basis points. Word comes down about 10 a.m. EST.

The BoC was one of the first major developed world central banks to start hiking its overnight lending rate last year,raising at an unprecedented pace of 400 basis points in nine months.

It will be the first time where the central bank will offer minutes from its policy-setting session, which will be published on Feb. 8.

Results from Canadian National Railway showed fourth-quarter earnings beat market expectations.

A court on Tuesday dismissed the competition bureau's effort to overturn an approval of Rogers Communications $20-billion bid to buy Shaw Communications.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange eked higher 1.06 points Tuesday to 623.03.

ON WALLSTREET

Stock futures fell in early trading on Wednesday as traders pored through the latest batch of corporate earnings.

Futures for the Dow Jones Industrials collapsed 223 points, or 0.7% early Wednesday to 33,603.

Futures for the S&P 500 faded 33 points, or 0.8%, to 3,999.75.

Futures for the NASDAQ Composite dropped 151.25 points, or 1.3%, to 11,758.25.

Shares of Microsoft dropped 2%. Initially shares rose after the tech giant posted fiscal second quarter per-share earnings that exceeded analysts’ estimates. However, shares declined after the company offered lackluster guidance on its earnings call.

Investors are bracing for more high-profile corporate earnings amid fears of a recession. So far, more than 70 S&P 500 companies have reported fourth-quarter earnings, and 65% of them posted stronger-than-expected results, according to Refinitiv.

Tesla, Boeing, IBM and AT&T are among the companies slated to post numbers on Wednesday.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 climbed 0.4% Wednesday, while in Hong Kong, markets were closed for the Lunar New Year.

Oil prices demurred 11 cents to $80.02 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices fell $8.70 to $1,926.70 U.S. an ounce.