CANADA STOCKS-TSX futures slide on commodity slump; GDP data in focus

Aug 31 (Reuters) – Canada’s main stock index was set to open lower on Wednesday on weakness in crude and gold prices, with investors awaiting economic growth data that influence the central bank’s rate-hike plans.

September futures on the S&P/TSX index were down 0.2% at 06:37 a.m. ET (10:38 GMT).

The gross domestic product data for the second quarter is due at 8:30 a.m. ET and expected to show the economy grew at an annualized rate of 4.4%, compared with 3.1% in the first quarter.

“Something like that (4.4%) could add to the case of another bold action by the Bank of Canada (BoC),” said Charalampos Pissouros, senior investment analyst at brokerage XM.

The central bank could even deliver a more than 75-basis-point interest rate hike at the policy meeting next week if growth improves, Pissouros added.

Since March, the BoC has raised its benchmark interest rate by 225 basis points to 2.50%, including a full-percentage-point move in its last policy decision in July — the biggest single hike by a G7 country in this economic cycle.

Oil prices continued to slide on investor worries about the ailing state of the global economy, the prospect of rate hikes, and increased COVID-19 curbs in China.

Gold prices, meanwhile, were headed for a fifth straight monthly drop, as solid U.S. economic data and hawkish Federal Reserve comments pointed to more rate increases.

The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index ended 1.6% lower on Tuesday, posting its worst day in more than two months on heavy selling in energy and materials stocks.

Canadian house price inflation will slow to 10% this year as the BoC raises interest rates aggressively, a Reuters poll of property market experts found.

Dow e-minis were down 19 points, or 0.06% at 6:38 a.m. ET, while S&P 500 e-minis were up 4 points, or 0.1% and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 64.75 points, or 0.52%.

(Reporting by Aniruddha Ghosh and Anisha Sircar in Bengaluru; Editing by Aditya Soni)

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