Five Canadian business stories to watch this week

Interest rate

Convenience store catch-up

Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. releases fourth-quarter and year-end results after markets close on Monday. The Laval, Que., -based operator of convenience stores recently signed a deal with Irving Oil to sell 13 and brand 23 retail sites across Atlantic Canada.

Hot housing

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation releases the monthly housing starts on Tuesday. A recent CMHC report found that while foreign buyers make up a small fraction of Canada's biggest real estate markets, homebuyers in Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal still believe they are heavily influencing housing activity.

Energy shindig

TD Securities' 2018 Calgary Energy Conference kicks off on Tuesday to discuss important factors affecting the energy industry and investment performance. The National Energy Board recently reported that crude-by-rail exports from Canada grew to a record 193,500 barrels per day in April, and are expected to continue to rise as Canadian heavy oil will be needed in the U.S. Gulf Coast refining complex to replace shrinking volumes from Venezuela.

What's next for Cogeco?

Cogeco Inc. and Cogeco Communications Inc. release third-quarter results after markets close on Wednesday. The Montreal-based cable company announced in May that Louis Audet is stepping aside as president and CEO after 25 years at the helm, sparking analyst speculation that Cogeco could become a take-over target for Rogers Communications Inc.

BoC rate announcement and outlook

The Bank of Canada will make its interest rate announcement and release its latest outlook for the economy in its monetary policy report on Wednesday. Most economists expect the central bank will raise its key interest rate target, despite the uncertainty the economy is facing due to Canada's trade dispute with the U.S. and the trade fight between the U.S. and China. The monetary policy report will be scrutinized for the central bank's view on what the trade battles may mean for the economy.