March 11, 2013 / 12:32 PM / 5 years ago

CANADA STOCKS-TSX may open lower on Italy downgrade, Chinese data

March 11 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index looked set to open lower as Italy’s credit rating downgrade and mixed Chinese data took the shine off last week’s positive payroll data and gains from strong miners.

TOP STORIES

* China’s uneven economic recovery signals a looming dilemma for policymakers as official data released at the weekend showed inflation at a 10-month high in February while factory output and consumer spending were weaker than forecast.

* Italy’s economy contracted by 0.9 percent in the fourth quarter of last year, in line with a preliminary estimate, and gross domestic product was down a revised 2.8 percent year-on-year, data showed.

Separately, Ratings agency Fitch added to Italy’s mounting problems on Friday by cutting its credit rating due to the political uncertainty after elections, deep recession and rising debt.

* Coal miner Walter Energy Inc, in the midst of a spat with a British hedge fund that is looking to replace half of its board, said it could further cut production at underperforming mines and explore the sale of non-core assets.

* Wall Street commodity revenues crashed last year to their lowest on record, as tighter regulation and limited price swings squeezed the once dominant traders of Goldman Sachs Group Inc, JPMorgan Chase & Co and Morgan Stanley.

* AT&T Inc is considering buying a 25 percent stake in India’s Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd, a telecommunications venture controlled by billionaire Mukesh Ambani, for $3.5 billion, the Times of India newspaper reported.

MARKET SNAPSHOT

* Canada stock futures traded down 0.26 percent

* U.S. stock futures , , were down around 0.2 percent

* European shares, were down

COMMODITY PRICE MOVES

* Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB Index : 294.6979; fell 0.06 percent

* Gold futures : $1,578.5; rose 0.12 percent

* US crude : $91.86; fell 0.1 percent

* Brent crude : $110.33; fell 0.47 percent

* LME 3-month copper : $7,705; fell 0.46 percent

ANALYSTS’ RECOMMENDATIONS

Following is a summary of research actions on Canadian companies reported by Reuters.

* Cequence Energy Ltd : CIBC raises price target to C$1.95 from C$1.80 on the company’s higher-than-expected fourth-quarter production.

* Long Run Exploration Ltd : CIBC raises price target to C$6.50 from C$6.25 after the company reported stronger-than-expected fourth-quarter cash flow and production figures.

* Savanna Energy Services Corp : Canaccord Genuity cuts target price to C$8.75 from C$9.50 on company’s margin-related issues.

* SNC Lavalin Group Inc : Canaccord Genuity cuts target price to C$53 from C$55 after the company provided weak full-year guidance.

* Sprott Inc : CIBC cuts target price to C$3.75 from C$4.25 to reflect lower assumed assets under management and equity dilution after the company announced a new offshore macro hedge fund.

ON THE CALENDAR

* No major Canadian economic data is scheduled for release .

* No major U.S. data is scheduled for release.

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