The Toronto stock market edged up higher at the open, as traders awaited a policy update from the U.S. Federal Reserve.
The S&P/TSX composite index added 17.30 points to 15,073.13, pushed up by energy and info tech stocks. The Canadian dollar gained 0.01 of a cent to 92.06 cents US.
Markets are awaiting the conclusion of the Fed’s two-day policy meeting, where it’s expected the central bank will deliver its latest forecasts for the world’s biggest economy. Economists expect Fed chair Janet Yellen to announce that she will reduce the monthly bond buyback program by $10-billion– to-$35-billion (U.S.) a month, as the signs continue to emerge that the economy continues on its path to recovery.
There wasn’t too much movement on Wall Street as the Dow Jones industrials fell 18.17 points to 16,790.32, the Nasdaq gained 1.20 points at 4,338.43 and the S&P 500 index was ahead 0.2 of a point at 1,942.19.
Meanwhile in Canada, Ottawa has given its approval to Enbridge to build the controversial Northern Gateway pipeline. The federal government gave the green light late Tuesday for the $7-billion, 1,200-kilometre pipeline that will connect Alberta oil sands to the British Columbia coast, and open Canadian oil markets to overseas customers. Enbridge said it still has a lot to do following the approval, which came with 209 conditions. Opponents of the pipeline, including B.C. aboriginal groups, are vowing that it will never be built, despite the go-ahead from the federal government. Shares in Enbridge fell eight cents to $51.88.
On the commodity markets, the July crude contract gained 35 cents to $106.71 (U.S.) a barrel as violence continued in Iraq, with Islamic militants attacking the country’s largest refinery after capturing a large swath of northern territory in the past week, including the major city of Mosul. August bullion was down $1.70 to $1,270.30 an ounce, while July copper was unchanged at $3.07 a pound.