July 3, 2014 / 11:34 AM / 3 years ago

TSX set to open higher, Canadian trade gap narrows

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A sign board displaying Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) stock information is seen in Toronto June 23, 2014.Mark Blinch

(Reuters) - Canadian stocks looked set to open higher on Thursday with June futures on the S&P TSX index <0#SXF:> up 0.35 percent at 0845 ET.

A resumption of growth in Canadian exports in May, after some plant maintenance in April, helped cut the trade gap to C$152 million from C$961 million in April, despite record imports, Statistics Canada said.

U.S. employment growth jumped in June and the unemployment rate declined to near a six-year low of 6.1 percent, effectively dispelling fears about the economy's health and underscoring its momentum heading into the second half of 2014.

The TSX index hit its highest-ever level on Wednesday as stronger-than-expected U.S. private sector jobs data helped lift banks, oil companies and miners.

Dow Jones Industrial Average e-mini futures 1YMc1 were down 0.02 percent at 0845 ET, while S&P 500 e-mini futures ESc1 were down 0.04 percent. Nasdaq 100 e-mini futures NQc1 were up 0.06 percent. [.N]

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Iron ore miner Labrador Iron Mines Holdings LIM.TO said it had halted mining operations this year, as falling prices on the back of a surge in global supply hit smaller producers.

Hungary's government plans to make further acquisitions in the energy sector and is also in advanced talks to buy Bombardier's (BBDb.TO) stake in Hungarian rail transportation firm Bombardier MAV Kft, the development minister said.

Lululemon Athletica Inc (LULU.O) founder Dennis Wilson's advisers have been talking to private equity firms including Leonard Green & Partners to find out if they are interested in buying the fashionable yoga gear maker, the WSJ reported citing people familiar with the matter.

Reporting by Mononshila Deka in Bangalore; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty

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