(Reuters) - Futures tracking Canada's main stock index fell on Wednesday, as investors feared the Bank of Canada will opt for further interest rate hikes later in the day, while dour corporate earnings in the U.S. added to the gloom.
Futures on the S&P/TSX index were down 0.4% at 6:51 a.m. ET (1151 GMT), mirroring declines in their U.S. counterparts.
The BoC is expected to raise interest rates to a 15-year high in the face of a tight job market and above-target inflation, but economists say the move could be the last in the current tightening cycle.
A Reuters poll of economists showed the BoC will hike its benchmark rate by 25-basis-points to 4.50% at 10:00 a.m. ET.
The BoC was one of the first major developed world central banks to start hiking its overnight lending rate last year, raising at an unprecedented pace of 400 basis points in nine months.
It will be the first time where the central bank will offer minutes from its policy-setting session, which will be published on Feb. 8.
Further weighing on sentiment were corporate earnings in the United States, after tech giant Microsoft warned that growth in its cloud business could stall.
Commodity prices, which tend to influence the resources-heavy TSX, were a mixed bag.
Crude oil prices slipped as a rise in U.S. crude inventories and global recession worries edged out optimism for a demand recovery in China. [O/R]
Gold prices declined against a firmer dollar, while copper prices inched higher. [GOL/] [MET/L]
Results from Canadian National Railway showed fourth-quarter earnings beat market expectations.
A Canadian court on Tuesday dismissed the competition bureau's effort to overturn an approval of Rogers Communications Inc's C$20 billion ($14.9 billion) bid to buy Shaw Communications Inc.
(Reporting by Shashwat Chauhan in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli)