Commodity prices are seen dragging Toronto stocks lower at the open on Wednesday, after the Federal Reserve toned down expectations for further stimulus, though stronger-than-expected U.S. ADP employment data helped offset some of the negative tone.
Among Canadian stocks to watch this morning, Quebec's attorney general said on Tuesday he had notified Air Canada of its legal obligation to keep a maintenance center operating in the province and would take legal action if he did not receive a satisfactory response from the company.
Asset manager IGM Financial Inc. posted a 7% decline in assets under management at the end of March.
The S&P/TSX Composite Index fell 183.45 points, or 1.5% Tuesday, to 12,323.61
The TSX Venture Exchange fell 24.16 points to 1,545.63, while the Nasdaq Canada index slid 6.63 points to 411.49
The Canadian dollar lost 0.52 cents this morning to 100.41 cents U.S.
U.S. index futures were down considerably with about 30 minutes before markets open, suggesting that stocks will fall at the start of trading.
Futures for the Dow Jones industrial average were down 114 points, or 0.9%, to 13,018. Futures for the broader S&P 500 were down 11.30 points or 0.8%, to 1,397.50. Both indexes fell on Tuesday, but pared losses in afternoon trading, after minutes from the last Federal Reserve meeting suggested that central bankers were in no rush to introduce another round of monetary stimulus to give the economy a jolt.
Futures for the tech-rich Nasdaq were off 18 points, or 0.7%, to 2,761.
This time, investors are worried about a flare-up in the European sovereign-debt crisis after an auction of Spanish government bonds went poorly: The amount of bonds sold was at the low end of estimates, while yields were higher than expected. Following the auction, the yield on the 10-year bond rose to its highest level since January. This marked the first Spanish bond auction since the government introduced its austerity budget last week.
European stocks were down sharply in afternoon trading: The U.K.'s FTSE 100 fell 1.2%and Germany's DAX index fell 1.9%. The European Central Bank held its key interest rate unchanged, at 1% . In Asia, Japan's Nikkei 225 fell 2.3% in overnight trading.
Commodities also moved lower. Crude oil fell to $102.89 U.S. a barrel, down 1.1%. Gold fell to $1,624 U.S. an ounce, down 2.9%.