March 22, 2012 / 12:27 PM / 6 years ago

CANADA STOCKS-TSX may open lower on weak Chinese, euro data

March 22 (Reuters) - Toronto’s resource heavy index looked set to open lower on Thursday, after weak Chinese and European economic data rekindled concerns about slowing global growth.

FACTORS TO WATCH

* Canadian equity futures pointed to a lower open.

* U.S. stock index futures fell after manufacturing data in the euro zone and China increased worry about a slowing global economy.

* European equity markets weakened for a fourth straight session, heading for their longest downward run in four months as weak economic data from China and Germany reignited concerns about the strength of global demand.

COMMODITY PRICE MOVES

* The Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB index, a global commodities benchmark, fell 0.54 percent in early trade.

* Brent crude oil fell, and was set for its lowest close in more than two weeks after weak Chinese and European manufacturing data sparked fears slowing growth could dent global energy demand.

* The price of gold fell by 1 percent to its lowest level since mid-January, against a backdrop of a strengthening dollar, soft consumer demand in Asia and weakening investor appetite for the metal.

* Copper prices fell to a two-week low after shrinking factory activity in top consumer China and worsening euro zone purchasing managers indexes (PMIs) raised concerns about the outlook for demand, with a weak euro adding pressure to prices.

CANADIAN STOCKS TO WATCH

* Lululemon Athletica Inc. : The yogawear retailer reported a surge in quarterly profit as sales in established stores jumped 26 percent.

* Air Canada : The airline is obliged by law to keep operations going at facilities that service its planes in the Canadian cities of Winnipeg, Mississauga and Montreal, Canadian Transport Minister Denis Lebel said on Wednesday. Separately, the company said on Wednesday it has identified “qualified and government approved” facilities in Canada and the United States to replace Aveos Fleet Performance Inc, which has performed much of Air Canada’s heavy maintenance work.

* Surge Energy Inc. : The oil and gas company posted much higher quarterly funds from operations, helped in part by higher production and increased drilling activity at its Alberta operations.

* Franco-Nevada Corp. : The royalty and metal streaming company recorded a higher quarterly loss, hurt by impairment charges at two mines.

ANALYST RECOMMENDATIONS

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

* Canadian Natural : National Bank Financial starts with outperform

* Canadian Oil Sands : National Bank Financial starts with sector perform

* Cenovus Energy Inc. : National Bank Financial starts with sector perform

* Cineplex : National Bank Financial raises target price to C$28 from C$27

* Legacy Oil + Gas Inc. : CIBC cuts price target to C$15.50 from C$16; National Bank Financial cuts price target to C$16 from C$17

* Nevsun Resources Ltd. : CIBC cuts price target to C$4.75 from C$5.50

* Partners Real Estate : CIBC cuts price target to C$7.75 from C$8

* Raging River : National Bank Financial starts with outperform

* Suncor Energy Inc. : National Bank Financial starts with outperform

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