Positive Open in Store for TSX

Athabasca, Canfor in Focus

Futures pointed to a higher opening for equities in Canada’s biggest market Tuesday, as gold prices edged up on hopes of a rate cut from the U.S. Federal Reserve, which begins its two-day interest rate meeting later in the day.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index gained 51.54 points to close Monday at 16,353.45

The Canadian dollar dropped 0.05 cents to 74.51 cents U.S. early Tuesday

June futures shot up 0.4% Tuesday.

A $1.25-billion Canadian program to help young people buy their first homes in a hot housing market will start up on Sept. 2, most likely just before an election is called.

RBC initiated coverage on Athabasca Oil with $1.15 price target

CIBC raised rating on Canfor Corp. to outperform from neutral

Canaccord Genuity cut the target price on Medipharm Labs to $7.50 from $8.00

On the economic front, Statistics Canada reported that manufacturing sales in this country declined 0.6% to $57.8 billion in April, following a 2.6% increase in March

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange backed off 3.22 points Monday to 584.62

ON WALLSTREET

U.S. stock index futures rose on Tuesday as investors bet the Federal Reserve will set the stage for more accommodative monetary policy at this week’s meeting.

Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 150 points, or 0.6%, to 26,288.

Futures for the S&P 500 added 18.25 points, or 0.6%, at 2,914.50.

NASDAQ futures rocketed 82.25 points, or 1.1%, to 7,643.50

Facebook was among the pre-market leaders, rising more than 1% after launching a new cryptocurrency called Libra. The social media company partnered with Visa, PayPal and other companies that will accept Libra payments.

The Fed is expected to leave rates unchanged after this meeting, which starts Tuesday. However, investors will monitor whether policymakers at the central bank lay the groundwork for rate cuts later in the year. Traders are pricing in three rate cuts before year-end.

Hope for looser monetary policy eased pressure in equities this month. The major indexes entered Tuesday’s session up at least 5% this month.

The Fed’s decision is scheduled to be announced Wednesday at 2 p.m. ET.

On the U.S. data front, housing starts and building permits for May are scheduled for Tuesday morning.

Overseas, the Nikkei 225 dipped 0.7% Tuesday, while in Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index gained 1%

Oil prices inched up three cents to $51.96 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices hiked $11.20 to $1,354.10 U.S. an ounce.