June 1, 2011 / 12:26 PM / in 6 years

TSX may slip at open as commodity prices ease

June 1 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index futures pointed to a slightly lower open on Wednesday as commodity prices ease.

FACTORS TO WATCH

* Canadian equity futures <0#SXF:> pointed to a lower open.

* U.S. shares were set to open slightly lower, after strong gains in the previous session, and as investors awaited further economic data to gauge the strength of recovery in the world’s biggest economy. [.N]

* European stocks were steady in early trade, halting their week-long recovery rally as investors awaited key U.S. jobs data, looking for more insight on the world’s biggest economy. [.EU]

* Asian shares were mixed with Hong Kong shares slipping, getting off to a weak start in June as investors took a more defensive stance, although a pick up in volumes suggested greater market participation by investors.

COMMODITY PRICE MOVES

* The Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB index .CRB, a global commodities benchmark, rose 0.06 percent in early trade.

* Oil eased slightly, but was supported by a weaker dollar, supply disruption in the United States and violence in the Middle East, countering fears of soft demand prompted by weak economic data. [O/R]

* Gold eased after receding worries about Greece’s debt crisis quashed some of the appetite among investors for safe havens, while the rise in the single European currency dented the euro price of bullion. [GOL/]

* Copper was steady as signs of slowing factory activity in China and Europe constrained prices and attention turned to pending U.S. figures, while a weak dollar against the euro cushioned prices. [MET/L]

CANADIAN STOCKS TO WATCH

* Bombardier Inc. BBDb.TO: The aircraft and train maker reported a 13 percent rise in profit, helped by strength in both divisions, and said its aerospace segment had started to benefit from a stronger demand for business aircraft. [ID:nL3E7H11Q0]

* Miranda Technologies Inc. MT.TO: The company, which provides technology for the television broadcast industry, posted a first-quarter profit helped by a recovery in the broadcast markets. [ID:nL3E7H11R8]

* Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. (CNQ.TO): The forest fires that raged across northern Alberta have forced the independent oil producer to push back the start-up of its Horizon oil sands project by more than a month, the company said on Tuesday. [ID:nN31108628]

* Kirkland Lake Gold Inc. KGI.TO: The gold miner more than doubled its exploration budget for 2012 from last year, as it continues to expand drilling operations at its South Mine Complex. [ID:nL3E7H11TM]

* TransCanada Corp. (TRP.TO): The company said on Tuesday it would take a few more days to reopen its 591,000 barrel per day Keystone oil pipeline after its second spill in less than a month shut the line. [ID:nN31283793]

* Chorus Aviation Inc. CHRb.TO: The company, formerly known as Jazz Air Income Fund, posted a lower first-quarter profit, hurt primarily by higher operating costs. [ID:nL3E7GV3FP]

* Corridor Resources Inc. (CDH.TO): The company said Apache Canada has exited the joint venture formed to develop the Frederick Brook shale in the Canadian province of New Brunswick, as the gas project failed to show promise. [ID:nL3E7GV3IF]

* Indigo Books & Music Inc. IDG.TO: The retailer of books, electronic books and e-readers slid to a loss in the fourth quarter on heavy charges for investments in its digital business such as its Kobo e-reader. [ID:nN27152608]

ANALYST RECOMMENDATIONS

Following is a summary of research actions on Canadian companies reported by Reuters. [RCH/CA]

* Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS.TO) price target raised to C$64 from C$63 at CIBC

* Canacol Energy (CNE.TO) price target raised to C$1.20 from C$1 at CIBC

* Chorus Aviation CHRb.TO rating raised to sector perform from underperform at National Bank Financial

* Semafo (SMF.TO) price target cut to C$17 from C$18.50 at CIBC; price target cut to C$13.50 from C$14.50, rating outperform at National Bank Financial

$1= $0.97 Canadian Reporting by Karan Khemani

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