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The federal Liberals find themselves in a tight spot ahead of this week’s budget. (Photo: Getty Images)

NEWS ESSENTIALS

• Federal budget: Trudeau promised billions despite rampant inflation. The federal Liberals are in a tough spot ahead of this week’s budget: the economy has recovered from the pandemic, but Prime Minister Justin Trudeau promised during the election campaign tens of billions of dollars in new stimulus, a political roll of the dice that could aggravate the galloping inflation that is affecting the country.

• Kinross will sell all of its Russian assets for $680 million in cash. Kinross Gold announced the sale of its Russian assets to Highland Gold Mining businesses for a total of US$680 million in cash, nearly a month after suspending operations there.

• Washington puts pressure on Moscow, blocks Russian bond payments. The United States on Monday prevented the Russian government from paying holders of its sovereign debt more than US$600 million from reserves held in US banks, a move intended to increase pressure on Moscow and reduce its holdings of US dollars. .

• US Senate accepts US$10 billion COVID relief package. Negotiations in the United States Congress resulted in an agreement on additional funding of US$10 billion as part of the assistance program aimed at meeting the needs of the United States in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, but international aid has been removed from the envelope, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced Monday.

• Telecom Italia and KKR unable to agree on due diligence. The chances of US fund KKR making a binding offer for Telecom Italia (TIM) appear to be dwindling as the two sides are at an impasse over access to the company’s books.

(Re)read all market news

TRENDS BEFORE OPENING

Futures for Canada’s main stock index are down as falling gold prices eclipse rising oil prices linked to the possibility of new Western sanctions against Russia. US stock futures and European stocks are down. Asian stock markets mostly ended the session in negative territory. The US dollar was up slightly, mostly following moves in long-term US bond yields. Trade balance data for Canada are released today.

TITLES TO FOLLOW

• Kinross Gold: the mining company announced the sale of its Russian assets to Highland Gold Mining companies for a total of US$680 million in cash, nearly a month after suspending its activities there. Kinross will receive US$400 million for the Kupol mine and surrounding exploration permits and US$280 million in cash for the Udinsk project. The transaction is subject to Moscow’s approval and the finalization of certain ancillary agreements, according to Kinross.

RECOMMENDATIONS

• Mcloud technologies: Alliance Global Partners cuts its target price from C$6.5 to C$5.5 after the company reported below-expected fourth-quarter earnings as related assets that are idle can no longer book receipts.

• Next Hydrogen Solutions: National Bank of Canada cuts target price from C$6 to C$4.5 on expected losses for a few more years as the company increases investment in product and business development and production capacity .

• Osisko Gold royalties: Scotiabank cut its target price from C$26 to C$22.5 after incorporating Western Copper and Gold’s initial economic assessment of the Casino project in the Yukon.

MAIN INDICATORS ON THE AGENDA

08:15 (approx) Official Cash Reserves (March): previous US$102,889 million

08:30 (approx) Exports (February): consensus C$54.68 billion; previous C$54.00 billion

08:30 (approx) Imports (February): consensus C$58.05 billion; previous C$56.62 billion

08:30 (approx) Trade balance (February): consensus C$2.90 billion; previous C$2.62 billion

PUBLICATIONS OF RESULTS

April 5

Newtopia: C$0.02 Q4 loss per share forecast

NovaGold Resources: forecast loss per share of US$0.03 in Q1

April 6

FLYHT Aerospace Solutions: C$0.03 Q4 loss per share forecast

CORPORATE AGENDA

9:30 a.m. Laurentian Bank of Canada: annual general meeting of shareholders

11:00 a.m. Colliers International Group: annual general meeting of shareholders

4:30 p.m. Very Good Food Company: Q4 earnings conference call

5:00 p.m. Newtopia: Q4 results conference call

COUPON SECONDMENTS

No major coupon detachment expected today.

All analyst forecasts are based on I/B/E/S data from Refinitiv.

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