November 8, 2013 / 1:57 PM / 4 years ago

CANADA STOCKS-TSX set to open lower as U.S. payrolls top forecasts

Nov 8 (Reuters) - Canadian stock index futures pointed to a lower open on Friday, tracking European and Asian markets, after U.S. job growth unexpectedly accelerated in October, raising the odds that the Federal Reserve will scale back its stimulus program before the end of the year.

TOP STORIES

* U.S. job growth unexpectedly accelerated in October as employers shrugged off a government shutdown, suggesting the budget standoff had a more limited impact on the economy than initially feared.

* Standard & Poor’s cut France’s sovereign credit rating on Friday by one notch to AA from AA+, giving a thumbs-down to President Francois Hollande’s efforts to put the euro zone’s second largest economy back on track.

* Air Canada’s third-quarter profit handily beat analysts’ estimates as a key measure of costs fell and the company, which launched a discount airline earlier this year, forecast higher capacity for the year.

* Talisman Energy Inc said it would sell a stake in some of its natural gas assets in British Columbia’s Montney field to Malaysia-controlled Progress Energy Canada Ltd for C$1.5 billion as it restructures global operations.

* Boeing said it was ready to re-examine alternative sites for its newest jet if assembly workers and local politicians do not ratify plans to build it in the Seattle area, its traditional manufacturing base.

MARKET SNAPSHOT

* Canada stock futures traded down 0.72 percent

* U.S. stock futures , , were lower

* European shares, were down

COMMODITY PRICE MOVES

* Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB Index : 273.845; rose 0.05 percent

* Gold futures : $1,308.1; fell 0.02 percent

* US crude : $94.48; rose 0.3 percent

* Brent crude : $104.03; rose 0.55 percent

* LME 3-month copper : $7,127.5; fell 0.24 percent

CANADIAN STOCKS TO WATCH

* BlackBerry Ltd : The company will pay up to $250 million to a group of debtors including Prem Watsa’s Fairfax Financial Holdings if another deal succeeds, according to a regulatory filing on Thursday detailing the debt deal.

ANALYSTS’ RECOMMENDATIONS

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

* AuRico Gold Inc : RBC cuts price target to $5.75 from $6 due to modest modifications to near-term operational assumptions as well as incorporating higher than previously anticipated taxes/royalties in Mexico.

* Canadian Natural Resources Ltd : RBC raises price target to C$41 from C$40 after the company announced a 60 percent dividend increase and an in-line 2014 budget.

* Quebecor Inc : CIBC raises price target to C$28 from C$25.50 after the company’s solid third-quarter results.

* Sierra Wireless Inc : CIBC cuts to sector underperformer from sector performer, says the company’s share price has been re-rated higher beyond its ability to grow revenue and earnings.

* Trinidad Drilling Ltd : CIBC raises to sector outperformer from sector performer, says the company’s shares have broadly underperformed but valuation has returned to a compelling level.

ON THE CALENDAR

* Major Canadian economic data includes housing and employment data

* Major U.S. events and data includes non-farm payrolls and UMich data

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