Equities Flat Ahead of Fed Announcement

CannTrust, Gran Tierra in Focus

Canada's main stock index was subdued on Wednesday, as investors adopted a cautious approach ahead of the Federal Reserve's policy statement that could open the door to future interest rate cuts.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index stayed buoyant 7.29 points to approach noon at 16,510.64

The Canadian dollar grew 0.17 cents to 74.92 cents U.S.

The largest percentage gainer on the TSX was CannTrust Holdings Inc, which jumped 49 cents, or 7.4%, to $7.14, after the medical cannabis company formed a joint venture with Elk Grove Farming Company LLC and started operations in California.

Canadian Tire Corp, which rose $1.49, or 1.1%, to $142.50, was also among the top percentage gainers.

Gran Tierra Energy fell 42 cents, or 16.3%, the most on the TSX, to $2.16, after the company announced an operations update.

The second-biggest decliner was InterRent Real Estate Investment Trust, down 38 cents, or 2.6%, to $14.08, after the company announced $175 million equity offering to fund property acquisitions in the city of Montreal.

On the economic front, Statistics Canada reported that the Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose 2.4% on a year-over-year basis in May, following a 2.0% increase in April.

On a seasonally adjusted monthly basis, the CPI rose 0.3% in May.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange sank 0.55 points by noon to 583.92

Eight of the 12 Toronto subgroups remained in the red, as gold and materials each slipped 1.1%, while consumer staples fizzled 0.4%.

Financials led the four gainers, up 0.7%, while communications were better by 0.5%, and health-care took on 0.4%.

ON WALLSTREET

Stocks were little changed on Wednesday, putting the breaks on a month-long rally, as investors waited for the Federal Reserve’s latest decision on monetary policy.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average stayed ahead 31.05 points to 26,496.59,

The S&P 500 were unchanged at 2,917.88.

The NASDAQ Composite forfeited 1.56 points to 7,952.32

Expectations of lower rates helped the market rebound this month after a torrid performance in May. The S&P 500, Dow and NASDAQ were all up at least 6% in June entering Wednesday’s session.

The Fed is scheduled to deliver its decision at 2 p.m. ET. The central bank is not expected to make any changes in terms of monetary policy, but investors will look for clues on whether the Fed will cut rates later this year. Fed Chair Jerome Powell will hold a news conference after the announcement.

Prices for the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury lost ground, lifting yields to 2.09% from Tuesday’s 2.06%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices faded 23 cents to $53.67 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices wilted $2.40 at $1,348.30 U.S. an ounce.