January 27, 2016 / 12:25 PM / a year ago

CANADA STOCKS-TSX to open lower ahead of Fed's rate decision

3 Min Read

Jan 27 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index futures drifted lower on Wednesday as investors turned cautious ahead of the U.S. Federal Reserve's rate decision later in the day.

While the central bank is almost certain to keep interest rates unchanged, investors are keen to see its latest economic outlook, given the turbulent start to global financial markets this year.

Oil prices too weighed on investors' sentiment after another slide following a surprise rise in U.S. inventories.

U.S. crude stocks rose by 11.4 million barrels last week to 496.6 million, the American Petroleum Institute said, topping analyst expectations for an increase of 3.3 million barrels.

March futures on the S&P TSX index were down 0.84 percent at 7:15 a.m. ET.

No major economic events are scheduled.

Canada's main stock index rose on Tuesday as shares in energy companies and banks were helped by a recovery in the price of oil to above $31 a barrel, while a 12-week high for the price of gold helped lift mining stocks.

Dow Jones Industrial Average e-mini futures were down 0.38 percent at 7:15 a.m. ET, while S&P 500 e-mini futures were down 0.59 percent and Nasdaq 100 e-mini futures were down 0.93 percent.

(Morning News Call newsletter link.reuters.com/nex49s; The Day Ahead newsletter link.reuters.com/mex49s)

Top Stories

Canadian National Railway Co reported a better-than-expected fourth quarter profit and raised its 2016 quarterly dividend by 20 percent as costs fell on lower fuel expenses.

COMMODITIES AT 7:15 a.m. ET

Gold futures : $1,116.90; -0.29 pct

US crude : $30.48; -3.08 pct

Brent crude : $31.25; -1.73 pct

LME 3-month copper : $4,524.50; -0.32 pct

Analyst Research Highlights

Canadian National Railway : Raymond James cuts target price to C$78 from C$84

Detour Gold Corp : Goldman Sachs raises target price to C$18 from C$17; rating "buy"

Trican Well Service : NBF raises target price to C$2.70 from C$2.00; rating "outperform"

u.s. Economic Data Due on Wednesday

1000 New home sales-units mm for Dec: Expected 0.500 mln; Prior 0.490 mln

1000 New home sales change mm for Dec: Expected 2.0 pct; Prior 4.3 pct

1400 Fed funds target rate: Expected 0.375 pct

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$1.41) (Reporting by Nikhil Kumar in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel)

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