April 26, 2012 / 12:42 PM / 5 years ago

CANADA STOCKS-TSX may open lower after soft U.S., euro zone data

April 26 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index looked set to open lower on Thursday, as lingering worries over the economic outlook for the euro zone and soft U.S. data weighed on investors' sentiment.

TOP STORIES

* New U.S. claims for unemployment benefits fell slightly last week but a trend reading rose to its highest since January, the latest sign of a weaker pace of healing in the still-struggling labor market.

* Euro zone economic sentiment fell more than expected in April, driven by more pessimistic industry and services sectors, European Commission data showed, as the economy sinks into recession.

* Potash Corp of Saskatchewan Inc, the world's largest fertilizer maker, reported a 33 percent profit drop on Thursday due to lower sales and production volumes, which in turn led to higher costs.

* Precision Drilling Corp posted its seventh consecutive quarterly profit on higher dayrates and activity in United States, but the No. 1 oil and gas driller in Canada cut its 2012 budget partly on delays in certain projects.

* Husky Energy Inc on Wednesday posted a 6 percent decline in first-quarter profit as a result of lower natural gas prices and tighter refining margins.

MARKET SNAPSHOT

* Canada stock futures traded down 0.13 percent

* U.S. stock futures , , were flat

* European shares, were flat

COMMODITY PRICE MOVES

* Thomson Reuters-Jeffries CRB Index : 302.65; rose 0.19 percent

* Gold Futures : $1644.4; unchanged

* US Crude : $104.21; rose 0.09 percent

* Brent Crude : $119.48; rose 0.3 percent

* LME 3-month Copper : $8274.25; rose 0.84 percent

CANADIAN STOCKS TO WATCH

* Canadian paper maker Domtar Corp's profit fell 54 percent, hurt by weak pulp prices and high costs.

* Mullen Group Ltd. : The trucking and logistics company posted a nearly 20 percent jump in first-quarter profit, helped in part by improved performance of its oilfield services unit.

* Goldcorp Inc : The miner reported a slim increase in its operating profit on Wednesday, as its most prolific mine was hit by operational problems that reduced output and offset most of the gains from a surge in bullion prices.

* Exco Technologies Ltd. : The auto parts maker's quarterly profit rose 33 percent on higher demand from American and Asian customers.

* Lundin Mining Corp. : The miner's quarterly profit fell 18 percent on lower metal prices and higher operating costs.

* MEG Energy Corp. : The oil sands developer reported an 18 percent rise in first-quarter profit on lower costs and higher price realizations.

ANALYST RECOMMENDATIONS

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

* Bell Aliant : CIBC cuts price target to C$27 from C$28, rating sector performer

* Cenovus Energy : CIBC cuts target to C$44 from C$45, rating sector outperformer

* CGI Group : Canaccord Genuity raises price target to C$23 from C$22, rating hold

* New Flyer Industries : Canaccord Genuity raises target to C$7.25 from C$6.25

ON THE CALENDAR

* Major U.S. events and data include jobless claims data and Pending Home Sale

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