Investors Ponder Trade Talks, Futures Flat

Barrick, Boralex in Focus

Futures pointed to a flat opening for Canada's main stock index on Wednesday as investors assessed the latest developments in the fresh round of U.S.-China trade talks in Washington.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index gained 99.2 points to wrap up business Tuesday at 15,937.44

The Canadian dollar gained 0.15 cents to 75.85 cents U.S. early Wednesday

March futures poked up 0.01% Wednesday.

Former Federal Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould, now at the centre of allegations of wrongdoing by government officials, said on Tuesday she would break her silence as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's team sought to defuse the biggest crisis of his career.

British Columbia on Tuesday projected a budget surplus of $274 million in fiscal 2019-20, with larger surpluses forecast over the following two years and launched a new child benefit program and several initiatives to tackle climate change.

Barrick Gold Corp outlined a proposal to settle disputes between its Acacia Mining unit and Tanzania's government, a proposal that includes a $300-million payment by the Canadian miner to settle tax claims.

National Bank of Canada raised the target price on Boralex to $24.00 from $23.50

RBC cut the price target on Inter Pipeline to $25.00 from $28.00

National Bank of Canada raised the target on Sandstorm Gold to $8.50 from $8.00

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange gained 6.12 points, or nearly 1%, Tuesday to 622.05

ON WALLSTREET

U.S. stock index futures were slightly lower early Wednesday, with market participants monitoring the latest round of trade talks between the world's two largest economies.

Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average dipped 36 points, or 0.1%, at 25,847.

Futures for the S&P 500 faded three points, or 0.1%, to 2,775.75

NASDAQ futures backpedaled 2.25 points to 7,066

In corporate news, investors are likely to closely monitor a flurry of earnings reports. CVS Health, Bausch Health and Garmin were among the major companies expected to publish their quarterly results before the opening bell.

Agilent, Cheesecake Factory and Sturm Ruger are all set to publish their latest figures after the markets closed.

There are no major economic reports scheduled on Wednesday. However, the Federal Reserve is expected to publish minutes from its January policy-setting meeting.

Market focus is largely attuned to global trade developments, after officials from the U.S. and China launched a new round of negotiations on Tuesday.

A follow-up session of higher-level talks is expected later in the week, as both sides look to resolve the long-running trade war before an early March deadline.

President Donald Trump has suggested he might extend the deadline for a deal, telling reporters in the Oval Office on Tuesday that March 1 was not a "magical date."

Overseas, in Japan, the Nikkei 225 gained 0.6% Wednesday, while in Hong Kong, the Hang Seng shot higher 1%.

Oil prices lost 32 cents to $55.17 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices moved higher $2.90 to $1,347.70 U.S. an ounce.