CANADA STOCKS-TSX may open lower after U.S. data stirs concern

Thu Mar 29, 2012 8:28am EDT
 
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March 29 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index looked set to open lower on Thursday, tracking global markets, after a raft of disappointing U.S. economic data fueled fears of a slowdown by the world's biggest economy.

FACTORS TO WATCH

* Canadian equity futures pointed to a lower open.

* U.S. stock index futures edged lower as investors awaited weekly jobless claims data for signs the U.S. economy will continue to support equities as they come off their best first quarter in 14 years.

* European stocks fell to three-week lows, with benchmark indexes breaking below key support levels as recent lower-than-expected U.S. economic figures added to worries about global growth, while Total extended its sell-off.

COMMODITY PRICE MOVES

* The Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB index, a global commodities benchmark, fell 0.24 percent in early trade.

* Oil prices held near $124 a barrel on concerns about the loss of Iranian oil despite the prospect of a release of strategic oil reserves in the West and renewed promises of additional supply from Saudi Arabia.

* Gold prices slipped below $1,660 an ounce in Europe, extending their retreat from two-week highs into a third session, as the dollar recovered from a near one-month low and crude oil prices turned lower.   Continued...