December 2, 2015 / 12:30 PM / 2 years ago

CANADA STOCKS-Futures higher ahead of Bank of Canada announcement

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Dec 2 (Reuters) - Futures pointed to a higher opening for Canada's main stock index on Wednesday ahead of a Bank of Canada policy announcement on interest rates.

The central bank is widely expected to hold rates at 0.50 percent. The announcement is due at 10:00 a.m. ET (1500 GMT).

The central bank has cut rates twice this year to offset the shock to the economy from a drop in oil prices.

December futures on the S&P TSX index were up 0.26 percent at 7:15 a.m. ET.

Canada's main stock index rallied on Tuesday to its highest closing level in nearly four weeks, led by financials following stronger-than-expected earnings for two of the country's main banks, while resource stocks also gained.

Dow Jones Industrial Average e-mini futures were up 0.04 percent at 7:15 a.m. ET, while S&P 500 e-mini futures were up 0.05 percent and Nasdaq 100 e-mini futures were up 0.19 percent. (Morning News Call newsletter link.reuters.com/nex49s; The Day Ahead newsletter link.reuters.com/mex49s)

Top Stories

Royal Bank of Canada reported an 11 percent rise in fourth-quarter profit that topped market expectations, driven by gains at its personal, commercial banking and capital markets businesses.

Canada's Liberal government should commit to a 12-nation Pacific Rim free-trade deal inked by the country's former leaders, but it also must invest further in local auto assembly, a group representing auto-parts manufacturers said Tuesday.

French train maker Alstom should use the proceeds of the sale of its energy unit to make acquisitions abroad and could consider a tie-up with Canadian rival Bombardier, French Economy Minister Emmanuel Macron said on Tuesday.

COMMODITIES AT 7:15 a.m. ET

Gold futures : $1,066.8; +0.3 pct

US crude : $41.32; -1.24 pct

Brent crude : $43.86; -1.31 pct

LME 3-month copper : $4,602; -0.65 pct

Analyst Research Highlights

Empire Company Ltd : Raymond James cuts to "market perform" from "outperform"; target price to C$28 from C$31

Lundin Mining : Kepler Cheuvreux raises to "buy" from "reduce"

Bank of Nova Scotia : NBF raises price target to C$67 from C$65

u.s. Economic Data Due on Wednesday

0815 ADP national employment for Nov: Expected 190,000; Prior 182,000

0830 Labor costs revised for Q3: Expected +1.1 pct; Prior +1.4 pct

0830 Productivity revised for Q3: Expected +2.2 pct; Prior +1.6 pct

0945 ISM NY Business Conditions Index for Nov: Prior 65.8

0945 ISM-New York Index for Nov: Prior 705.3

For Canadian Markets News, Click on Codes:

TSX market report

Canadian dollar and bonds report

Reuters global stocks poll for Canada

Canadian markets directory

$1= C$1.34 Reporting by Ayesha Sruti Ahmed in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty

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