CANADA STOCKS-TSX may open lower on global growth concerns

Fri Mar 23, 2012 8:31am EDT
 
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March 23 (Reuters) - Toronto's resource-heavy main stock index looked set to open slightly lower on Friday, as recent data on the U.S. labor market did little to counter weak manufacturing reports from the euro zone and China.

FACTORS TO WATCH

* Canadian equity futures pointed to a lower open.

* U.S. stock index futures were little changed after equities suffered their worst percentage drop in two weeks, with the S&P 500 on track for its first decline in the past six weeks.

* Higher gasoline and food prices drove up Canada's annual inflation rate to 2.6 percent in February from 2.5 percent, slightly below expectations but likely becoming more of a concern for the central bank when setting interest rates.

* The Canadian dollar extended losses against the U.S. currency after data showed Canada's annual inflation rate edged up in February to 2.6 percent from a rate of 2.5 percent in January.

* European equities retreated further early after four straight sessions of falls, stalked by concerns over the global growth outlook.

COMMODITY PRICE MOVES   Continued...