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Canada’s main stock index slipped for the second consecutive day, hurt by a strong sell-off in energy shares as oil prices tanked nearly 4 per cent after the OPEC+ meeting was delayed.

At 9:32 a.m. ET, the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index was down 51.85 points, or 0.26 per cent, at 20,058.12.

Oil prices plunged as OPEC+ producers unexpectedly delayed a meeting on output planned for Sunday, raising questions about the future course of crude production cuts.

Brent crude futures was down $3.39, or 4.1 per cent, to $79.06 a barrel by 1412 GMT. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures were down $3.26, or 4.2 per cent, to $74.51.

OPEC+ delayed its ministerial meeting to Nov. 30 from Nov. 26 as previously scheduled, OPEC said in a statement, a surprise development that gave no reason for the postponement.

The meeting of OPEC+, which includes Saudi Arabia, Russia and other allies and members of the OPEC group of oil-producing countries, had been expected to consider further changes to a deal that already limits supply into 2024, according to analysts and OPEC+ sources.

Analysts had predicted before the delay that OPEC+ was likely to extend or even deepen oil supply cuts into next year.

Both Brent and WTI oil benchmarks have fallen for four straight weeks - the former down from near $98 in late September - pressured by rising supplies and concern about demand and a potential economic slowdown.

The two contracts had climbed about 2 per cent on Monday after three OPEC+ sources told Reuters the group, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allied producers, was set to consider more oil supply cuts when it meets on Nov. 26.

Wall Street’s main indexes opened higher, helped by bets that the Federal Reserve had reached the end of its rate hikes and a slide in longer-dated Treasury yields, while traders assessed the latest batch of economic data.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 101.04 points, or 0.29 per cent, at the open to 35,189.33. The S&P 500 opened higher by 14.85 points, or 0.33 per cent, at 4,553.04, while the Nasdaq Composite gained 83.84 points, or 0.59 per cent, to 14,283.82 at the opening bell.

A day earlier all three U.S. indexes, as well as the TSX, saw modest losses.

Shares of chip giant Nvidia were down 2 per cent in early trading even after the company forecast fourth-quarter revenue above Wall Street forecasts. The company expects current-quarter revenue of US$20-billion, plus or minus 2 per cent. Analysts polled by LSEG expect revenue of US$17.86 billion. Meanwhile, adjusted third-quarter revenue jumped to US$18.12-billion, topping estimates of US$16.18-billion.

“Investors couldn’t decide whether they should buy the fact that the company exceeded the sky-high expectations, or they should sell the reality that the chip sales to China will slow this quarter and that would weigh on revenue – although Nvidia stated that the ‘decline will be more than offset by strong growth in other regions’ and that they are working to comply with regulations to sell to China, anyway,” Swissquote senior analyst Ipek Ozkardeskaya said.

In this country, Canada’s fall economic update, released Tuesday afternoon, remains in focus. The Globe’s Bill Curry and Mark Rendell report Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland announced billions in spending on Tuesday, in a housing-focused fall economic statement that also set a new cap on the size of future deficits, pledging to keep them at no larger than 1 per cent of gross domestic product. The target implies maximum annual deficits of around $32-billion when the rule takes effect in the 2026-27 fiscal year.

Later this morning, Bank of Canada Governor Tiff Macklem is scheduled to speak to the Saint John Region Chamber of Commerce on the topic of the cost of high inflation. Mr. Macklem’s remarks will be posted on the central bank’s website at 11:30 a.m. ET. He will speak with reporters after the address. The remarks come ahead of the bank’s Dec. 6 policy announcement, when it is expected to leave interest rates unchanged. Yesterday, Statistics Canada reported that the country’s annual rate of inflation eased to 3.1 per cent in October from 3.8 per cent in September

Overseas, the pan-European STOXX 600 was up 0.21 per cent in morning trading. Britain’s FTSE 100 slid 0.10 per cent. Germany’s DAX and France’s CAC 40 gained 0.28 per cent and 0.26 per cent, respectively.

In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei gained 0.29 per cent after two days of losses.

Commodities

In addition to monitoring OPEC developments, markets are also waiting fresh U.S. weekly inventory figures from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. The numbers are due later this morning.

Late yesterday, the American Petroleum Institute said U.S. crude stocks rose by nearly 9.1 million barrels in the week ended Nov. 17.

In other commodities, gold prices held above the US$2,000-an-ounce mark in early trading, supported by lower bond yields and recent weakness in the greenback.

Spot gold was up 0.2 per cent at US$2,001.90 per ounce, as of early Wednesday morning. Gold hit a three-week high of US$2,007.29 in the previous session.

Currencies

The Canadian dollar was down slightly while its U.S. counterpart steadied after touching its lowest level since August during the previous session.

In bonds, the yield on the U.S. 10-year note was lower at 4.38 per cent, down about 3 basis points.

More company news

Deere & Co forecast 2024 profit below analysts’ estimates on Wednesday as high borrowing costs and squeezed budgets dented demand for farm equipment. The world’s largest farm equipment maker expects 2024 net income between US$7.75-billion and US$8.25-billion, compared with analysts’ average expectations of US$9.33-billion, according to LSEG data. Rising dealer inventories have investors worried that demand for farming equipment might have peaked. Net income rose to US$2.37-billion, or US$8.26 per share, for the quarter through October from US$2.25-billion, or US$7.44 per share, a year earlier. -Reuters

Economic news

U.S. weekly jobless claims (8:30 a.m. ET)

U.S. durable goods orders for October (8:30 a.m. ET)

U.S. consumer sentiment for November (10 a.m. ET)

With Reuters and The Canadian Press

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