October 13, 2011 / 12:22 PM / in 6 years

TSX may open lower as China data weighs on commods

Oct 13 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index looked set to open lower on Thursday after a powerful rally, as worries about an economic slowdown in China pushed commodity prices lower.

FACTORS TO WATCH

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

* U.S. stock index futures fell after weaker-than-expected economic data in China reawakened global economic worry and earnings from JPMorgan Chase. [.N]

* European shares slipped in choppy trading, after recent strong gains, with mining stocks among the biggest casualties after Chinese trade data was weaker than expected. [.EU]

* Asian stocks rose on progress in euro zone rescue ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ To receive an early e-mail of Reuters Morning News Call - Canada -- a preview of market moving news -- Thomson Reuters subscribers can register at [CA/MNC] ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

COMMODITY PRICE MOVES

* The Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB index .CRB, a global commodities benchmark, fell 0.42 percent in early trade.

* Oil slipped with Brent snapping a six-day rally, after trade data from China pointed to slower demand in the world’s second-largest oil consumer. [O/R]

* Gold held near four-week highs as support from further evidence of consumer demand in Asia was offset by the strength of the dollar, although investor nerves over the euro zone should insulate the price from any steep declines. [GOL/]

* Copper prices sagged after soft Chinese trade data reinforced a gloomy outlook for global economic growth, but signs of stronger industrial metals demand from the country helped limit losses. [MET/L]

CANADIAN STOCKS TO WATCH

* Research In Motion RIM.TO: The company’s BlackBerry services across Europe, the Middle East, Africa and India have improved significantly, the company said, after a three-day global service disruption hit millions of its customers. [ID:nN1E79B1JU] Separately, Colombia’s chief consumer watchdog urged telecoms service providers to compensate customers locally for lost service as a result of the global BlackBerry outage, promising an investigation into the breakdown. [ID:nN1E79B1LN]

* Harry Winston Diamond HW.TO: The diamond miner and retailer said it recovered 8 percent more carats in the third quarter as it processed higher grade ore from its Diavik mine in Canada. [ID:nL3E7LD1WA]

* Magna International (MG.TO): The auto-parts maker said it was cooperating with a U.S. Department of Justice anti-trust investigation of the automobile tooling industry. [ID:nL3E7LD1GT]

* Air Canada ACa.TOACb.TO: The airline’s flight attendants canceled their planned strike just hours before it was due to start after the federal government asked a labor board to step into the dispute. [ID:nN1E79B0R7]

* Northstar Aerospace Inc. NAS.TO: The company said union workers at its manufacturing facility in Milton, Ontario, began a strike on Thursday. [ID:nL3E7LD0GT]

* Compass Petroleum Ltd. (CPO.V): The junior oil and gas company said it would explore strategic alternatives, including a possible sale. [ID:nL3E7LD1YK]

ANALYST RECOMMENDATIONS

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

* Air Canada ACa.TO rating cut to sector performer from sector outperformer at CIBC

* Canadian National (CNR.TO) price target cut to C$82 from C$85; ratng sector performer at CIBC

* Canadian Pacific (CP.TO) price target cut to C$60 from C$68; ratng sector performer at CIBC

* Chorus Aviation CHRb.TO price target cut to C$5 from C$6; ratng sector outperformer at CIBC

* Contrans CSS.TO rating raised to sector outperformer from sector performer at CIBC

* Surge Energy SGY.V rating raised to sector outperformer from sector performer at CIBC; coverage resumed with outperform, price target of C$11.50 at National Bank

* Transat AT TRZb.TO rating cut to sector underperformer from sector performer at CIBC

* TransForce TFI.TO price target cut to C$14.50 from C$18.50 at CIBC

* Westjet Airlines (WJA.TO) price target cut to C$17 from C$19.50 at CIBC ($1= $1.02 Canadian) (Reporting by Anil Kumar)

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