April 10, 2012 / 12:37 PM / 5 years ago

CANADA STOCKS-TSX set to open lower on weak China import data

April 10 (Reuters) - Canada’s resource heavy main stock index looked set to open lower on Tuesday, as commodities slipped on weaker Chinese import data, raising concerns about the impact of slowing demand on a fragile global economy.

FACTORS TO WATCH

* Canadian equity futures pointed to a lower open.

* U.S. stock index futures edged up as S&P 500 futures found support near their 50-day moving average following four days of losses on the benchmark index.

* Shares in Europe’s biggest companies fell, reacting to poor U.S. jobs numbers released over the holiday weekend and resurgent concerns about the euro zone’s debt crisis ahead of the U.S. corporate earnings season.

COMMODITY PRICE MOVES

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

* Oil slipped below $122 as soft Chinese import data raised concerns about oil demand growth in the world’s second-biggest consumer.

* Gold steadied, surrendering earlier gains as a rally sparked by expectations that a sluggish U.S. employment market could fuel further monetary easing ran out of steam in the face of a firming dollar and easing appetite for risk.

* Copper fell to its lowest in a month, pressured by soft Chinese copper import figures and a bearish wider economic backdrop after Friday’s disappointing U.S. employment data sent share prices lower.

CANADIAN STOCKS TO WATCH

* Augusta Resource Corp. : The company said it received a key environment permit for its fully owned Rosemont copper project in Arizona.

* Rio Verde Minerals Development Corp. : The company said it got a trial mining permit for its Fosfatar phosphate project in Brazil.

* Vero Energy Inc. : The oil and natural gas producer raised its 2012 production forecast as output from the Cardium assets in Alberta increased in the first quarter, helped by higher number of wells drilled.

ANALYST RECOMMENDATIONS

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

* AGF Management Ltd. : RBC cuts price target to C$17 from C$18, rating outperform

* Canadian National Railway : Barclays raises price target to C$82 from C$81

* Great West Lifeco : Barclays raises price target to C$25 from C$23

* Sun Life Financial : Barclays raises price target to C$20 from C$19

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