TSX dips ahead of Fed rate decision

(Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index dipped on Wednesday ahead of a crucial interest rate decision from the U.S. Federal Reserve.

FILE PHOTO: The Toronto Stock Exchange sign is seen in Toronto, Ontario, Canada July 6, 2017. REUTERS/Chris Helgren

The U.S. Federal Reserve is almost certain to cut interest rates by at least quarter-percentage-point for the first time in more than a decade on Wednesday, delivering a mild jolt to an economy that is facing headwinds from trade disputes.

The central bank is scheduled to release its rates decision at 2 p.m. ET (1800 GMT) at the end of a two-day policy meeting.

A bright spot was data that showed Canada’s economy grew by a higher-than-expected 0.2% in May, the third increase in as many months, thanks to a rebound in manufacturing.

Brian DePratto, a senior economist with TD Economics, noted the current economic backdrop “should give the Bank of Canada some near-term comfort in ‘going it alone’ and holding its stance of monetary policy constant as its peers ease.”

At 9:45 a.m. ET (13:45 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index was down 16.02 points, or 0.1%, at 16,450.03.

The energy sector climbed 0.8%, as U.S. crude prices were up 0.8% a barrel, while Brent crude added 0.7%. [O/R]

On the TSX, 106 issues were higher, while 122 issues declined for a 1.15-to-1 ratio to the downside, with 18.69 million shares traded.

The largest percentage gainers on the TSX were Seven Generations Energy Ltd VII.TO, which jumped 14.6% after reporting second-quarter results.

Home Capital Group Inc HCG.TO, which rose 9.6%, was among the top percentage gainers on the main index.

Overnight air cargo services Cargojet CJT.TO fell 5.7%, the most on the TSX, while the second-biggest decliner was Intact Financial Corp IFC.TO, down 4.0%, after they reported quarterly results.

The most heavily traded shares by volume were Encana Corp ECA.TO, MEG Energy Corp MEG.TO and Northern Dynasty Minerals NDM.TO.

The TSX posted nine new 52-week highs and no new low.

Across all Canadian issues, there were 21 new 52-week highs and six new lows, with total volume of 30.01 million shares.

Reporting by Amy Caren Daniel in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel