TSX futures little changed as oil prices dip

(Reuters) – Canada’s main stock index dropped on Wednesday, after a fall in oil prices dragged the energy sector lower and Bank of Canada’s comment that U.S. trade policies were holding back Canadian investments weighed on the market sentiment.

The Art Deco facade of the original Toronto Stock Exchange building is seen on Bay Street in Toronto, Ontario, Canada January 23, 2019. REUTERS/Chris Helgren

* At 9:40 a.m. ET (1440 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX Composite index was down 12.44 points, or 0.08 percent, at 15,690.25.

* Four of the index’s 11 major sectors were down, with the energy sector fell the most at 1.4 percent.

* Oil prices declined after a report showed a rise in U.S. crude inventories, countering expectations of a tightening market in 2019 due to OPEC-led supply cuts and the U.S. sanctions on Venezuela.

* U.S. crude prices fell 0.6 percent, while Brent crude lost 0.6 percent.

* A deputy governor of the Bank of Canada said despite strong economic fundamentals, uncertainty over the U.S. trade policies are temporarily slowing growth.

* Lower oil prices and a softening housing market are also factors hindering growth in the country, in contrast to the U.S. economy, which is powering ahead on the effects of stimulus.

* The Canadian dollar will extend this year’s rally over the coming 12 months, according to a Reuters poll, as the U.S. dollar is expected to broadly fall, while global monetary policy to stay looser than previously expected.

* The financials sector gained 0.3 percent.

* On the TSX, 100 issues were higher, while 125 issues declined for a 1.25-to-1 ratio to the downside, with traded volume touching 16.72 million shares.

* The largest percentage gainer on the TSX were ATS Automation Tooling Systems Inc, which

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