Equities Dip on Protectionism Worries

Bank Rate Announcement Due Today

Canada’s main stock index futures fell on Wednesday after White House economic adviser Gary Cohn resigned, stoking fears President Donald Trump would go ahead with tariffs.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index nosed ahead 3.91 points to close Tuesday’s session at 15,545.19

The Canadian dollar added 0.12 cents to 77.35 cents U.S. early Wednesday

March futures subsided 0.3% Wednesday.

Canadian National Railway said on Wednesday it would invest more than $250 million this year to improve its infrastructure to ease grain supply issues in Western Canada.

An Air Line Pilots Association executive said on Tuesday that WestJet Airlines must change its hiring strategy for the company’s new bargain carrier, Swoop, citing a labour board finding.

TD Securities raised the price target on CRH Medical to $3.50 from $2.50

TD Securities raised the rating on Trilogy International Partners to buy from hold

Raymond James raised the price target on Wajax Corp. to $28.50 from $25.00

Cohn, the top economic adviser to Trump and a voice for Wall Street in the White House, said on Tuesday he would resign, a move that came after he lost a fight over Trump’s plans for hefty steel and aluminum import tariffs.

Investors suspect protectionist forces in the White House favour using a lower dollar to enhance U.S. export competitiveness while making imports more expensive.

The Bank of Canada announces its trendsetting rate this morning (about 10 a.m. ET), and most insiders expect the central bank to leave rates alone.

Statistics Canada’s trade report showed this country’s merchandise trade deficit totaled $1.9 billion in January, narrowing from a $3.1 billion deficit in December. Imports decreased 4.3% and exports fell 2.1%.


The TSX Venture Exchange strengthened 4.38 points Tuesday to 843.57


U.S. stock index futures posted sharp falls ahead of Wednesday's open, as political developments within the U.S. administration unnerved markets worldwide.

Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average caved in 269 points, or 1.1%, to 24,583

S&P 500 futures lost 21.25 points, or 0.8%, to 2,702.75, while futures on the NASDAQ Composite let go of 46 points, or 0.7%, to 6,861.75

The moves in pre-market trade come after the White House's chief economic advisor Gary Cohn announced his resignation from President Donald Trump's administration Tuesday.

Abercrombie & Fitch Company is among a battery of firms set to announce earnings Wednesday.

Also on Wednesday, a whole slew of data and earnings are due. ADP employment was due out, followed by international trade and productivity & costs data at 8:30 a.m. ET.

The Federal Reserve's latest Beige Book is set to be published at 2 p.m. ET, while consumer credit is due out at 3 p.m. ET. Mortgage Applications will come out at 7 a.m. ET.

Elsewhere, investors will be keeping an eye on international news, after the South Korean presidential National Security Office announced that North Korea was willing to hold de-nuclearization talks with the U.S., and would suspend nuclear tests while those talks took place.

Elsewhere in Asia, in Japan, the Nikkei 225 fell 0.8%, while in Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index dropped 1%. Markets in Europe were also generally negative in the early afternoon.

Oil prices doffed 28 cents to $62.32 U.S. per barrel.

Gold prices shed $2.80 to $1,332.40 U.S. an ounce.