March 18 (Reuters) - Futures for Canada’s main stock index were flat on Monday amid mounting speculation that the U.S. Federal Reserve will adopt a dovish tone at its two-day policy meeting from March 19.
The Fed is likely to leave its interest rate unchanged in a range of 2.25 percent to 2.50 percent and stick to the pledge of a “patient” approach to monetary policy.
June futures on the S&P/TSX index were down 0.01 percent at 7:05 a.m. ET.
The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index closed 52.37 points, or 0.33 percent, higher at 16,139.92 on Friday.
Dow Jones Industrial Average e-mini futures were down 0.18 percent at 7:05 a.m. ET, while S&P 500 e-mini futures were up 0.1 percent and Nasdaq 100 e-mini futures were up 0.13 percent.
With a federal election looming and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government facing its worst political crisis in four years, Canada’s ruling Liberals are expected to table a goody-filled budget later this week in bid to get back on course with voters.
OPEC is set to scrap its planned meeting in April and decide instead whether to extend oil output cuts in June, when the market will be able to assess the full impact of U.S. sanctions on Iran and the crisis in Venezuela.
Air Canada and United Airlines on Friday became the first major carriers in North America to warn of negative impacts on business due to the grounding of Boeing’s 737 MAX planes.
ANALYST RESEARCH HIGHLIGHTS
AutoCanada Inc: National Bank of Canada cuts target price to C$10 from C$12.50
North West Co Inc: CIBC cuts target price to C$30 from C$31
Terago Inc: Canaccord Genuity initiates coverage with “buy” rating and C$12.50 price target
COMMODITIES AT 7:05 a.m. ET
Gold futures: $1,305.9; 0.23 pct
US crude: $58.43; -0.15 pct
Brent crude: $67.18; +0.03 pct
U.S. ECONOMIC DATA DUE ON MONDAY
1000 NAHB Housing Market Index for Mar: Expected 63; Prior 62
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Canadian markets directory ($1= C$1.33) (Reporting by Debanjan Bose in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel)
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