Tracking growth in commodity prices, Canadian stock markets nudged up on Wednesday as investors await fresh cues about timing of this year’s interest rate cuts. Canadian investors acquired C$24.2 billion of foreign securities in February, according to a new Statistics Canada report, led by an all-time high investment in foreign bonds. Foreign investors reduced their exposure to Canadian securities by C$8.8 billion, led by a record divestment in government short-term debt securities.

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After days of consecutive losses, U.S. stocks continued to fall as Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said the Fed needs to see more progress on the inflation front before the central bank is ready to start cutting rates.

S&P 5005,022.21-29.20S&P 500

The Canadian dollar traded for 72.46 cents compared with 72.35 cents U.S. on Tuesday.

U.S. crude futures traded $0.54 lower at $84.82 a barrel, and the Brent contract lost $0.71 to $89.31 a barrel.

The price of gold was up US$8.03 to US$2,390.94.

In world markets, the Nikkei was down 509.40 points to 37,961.80, the Hang Seng was up 2.87 points to 16,251.84, the FTSE was up 27.63 points to 7,847.99, and the DAX was up 3.79 points to 17,770.02.

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