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Premarket: RIM rises; futures slip on GDP surprise

North American stock futures slid on Wednesday after U.S. fourth-quarter gross domestic product shrank, defying widespread expectations of an increase.

Investors were also awaiting a statement by the U.S. Federal Reserve later in the day. Research in Motion Ltd. shares rose about 2.5 per cent in premarket trading as the smartphone maker prepared to unveil its long-awaited BlackBerry 10.

The U.S. Commerce Department reported that the economy shrank by 0.1 per cent, hurt by the biggest cut in defence spending in 40 years, fewer exports and sluggish growth in inventories. Economists had expected growth of 1.1 per cent in the October-December period.

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The euro broke above $1.35 (U.S.) for the first time since December 2011. A rise in European economic confidence, ECB crisis loan repayments and Italy's sale of five and 10-year bonds provided investors with fresh evidence of stronger sentiment in the region.

Now, here's a closer look at what's going on this morning and what's to come:



U.S. futures: S&P 500 -0.3 per cent; Dow -0.2 per cent; Nasdaq -0.14 per cent

Hong Kong's Hang Seng index +0.71 per cent

Shanghai composite index +0.98 per cent

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Japan's Nikkei +2.28 per cent

London's FTSE 100 +0.06 per cent

Germany's DAX -0.12 per cent

France's CAC 40 -0.07 per cent


WTI (Nymex Mar) +0.36 per cent at $97.92 (U.S.) a barrel

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Gold (Comex Apr) +0.17 per cent at $1,665.60 (U.S.) an ounce

Copper (Comex Mar) +1.15 per cent at $3.73 (U.S.) a pound


Canadian dollar down 0.0002, or 0.02 per cent, at $0.9982 (U.S.)


(215 p.m. ET) The U.S. Federal Reserve Board makes its interest rate announcement. Economists expect the benchmark rate to remain unchanged at 0.25 per cent. Traders to focus on any language in the statement on when quantitative easing may end.


Earnings include: AGF Management Ltd.; Boeing Co.; CGI Group Inc.; ConocoPhillips Co.; Exco Technologies Ltd.; Facebook Inc.; Fiat SpA; H&M Hennes & Mauritz AB; JDS Uniphase Corp.; Marathon Petroleum Corp.; Murphy Oil Corp.; Northrop Grumman Corp.; Qualcomm Inc. Inc. shares rose 8.8 per cent to $283.30 in premarket trading. The online retailer announced a better-than-expected fourth-quarter operating income and said revenue rose 22 per cent.


Junk-bond yields have fallen so far that the world's biggest debt investors are turning to borrowed money to juice returns, a practice that magnified losses during the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression.

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The premarket report is constantly updated to reflect the latest news developments and market moves. For instant headlines on breaking economic and corporate news in the premarket, follow Darcy Keith on Twitter at @eyeonequities)

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About the Author
Investment Editor

Darcy Keith is The Globe and Mail's Investment Editor. He has been a business journalist since 1992 and joined the Report on Business in 2010 from Yahoo! Canada, where he was the senior editor of finance. More


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