June 4, 2014 / 11:39 AM / in 3 years

Futures point to lower open, BoC rate decision in focus

(Reuters) - Canadian stocks looked set to open lower on Wednesday, with the Bank of Canada expected to keep interest rates unchanged.

A sign displaying TSX information is seen in Toronto November 20, 2008. REUTERS/Mark Blinch

June futures on the S&P TSX index were down 0.14 percent at 0845 ET.

The central bank, which will announce its policy decision at 0900 ET, is expected to hold its key rate at 1 percent and show no sign of changing its neutral stance, even though inflation has jumped to its 2 percent target sooner than expected.

Canada unexpectedly slipped back into a trade deficit in April, data showed on Wednesday, after two months of surplus as imports jumped to a record-high and exports fell, mainly because of lower sales of energy and mining products.

The S&P TSX index rose for a third straight session on Tuesday, driven by gains in the share prices of energy producers and financial companies, as positive economic data from China boosted sentiment.

U.S. stock index futures also pointed to a lower open on Wednesday as data on the labor market came in weaker than expected. Dow Jones Industrial Average e-mini futures were down 0.24 percent at 0845 ET, while e-mini S&P 500 futures were down 0.29 percent and e-mini Nasdaq 100 futures were down 0.34 percent.

TOP STORIES

Pent-up demand helped drive Canadian auto sales to a monthly record in May, with mass market brands and niche automakers both big winners, an independent auto industry analyst said on Tuesday.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced the appointment of a Quebec judge to the Supreme Court of Canada on Tuesday after the top court rejected his previous appointment earlier this year in a high-profile case.

Deutsche Lufthansa AG said on Tuesday that it met with Bombardier Inc on Monday and assured the Canadian planemaker it still believes in the $4.4 billion CSeries jetliner program despite an engine failure last week.

Reporting by Mononshila Deka in Bangalore; Editing by Ted Kerr

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