TSX May Start Higher As Oil Rises on Decline in US Stockpile

Canada's benchmark index looked set to start the Wednesday session in the positive territory, as oil prices rise on the back of declining US crude inventories.

Oil prices were higher as a report showed an unexpected rise in US inventories, with the market awaiting confirmation from the US Energy Information Administration when it issues its own look at oil supply, demand and stocks later in the day. The American Petroleum Institute late on Tuesday estimated that US oil inventories fell by 3.1 million barrels last week, as well as lower gasoline and distillate supplies.

Among stocks, Aphria Inc. (TSX: APHA and NYSE: APHA), a global cannabis company, will be in focus as it proposes to offer pursuant to a private placement US$300 million aggregate principal amount of convertible senior notes due 2024, subject to market conditions and other factors. Aphria also intends to grant to the initial purchasers of the notes an option, exercisable within 30-day period, to purchase up to an additional US$45 million aggregate principal amount of notes.

Meanwhile, investors were also digesting today's pair of key economic news. Statistics Canada said the Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose 1.9% on a year-over-year basis in March, up from a 1.5% increase in February. Analysts expected a 1.9% rise. StatsCan also revealed that Canada's merchandise trade deficit with the world narrowed slightly, from $3.1 billion in January to $2.9 billion in February, as imports declined 1.6% while exports were down 1.3%. Consensus forecast was for a $3.4 billion deficit.

The TSX closed down by 13 points on Tuesday, led lower by the materials sector.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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