CANADA STOCKS-TSX poised for flat open; Ukraine crisis rattles investors

Thu Mar 6, 2014 8:55am EST
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March 6 (Reuters) - Canada's stock index futures pointed to a flat opening on Thursday as the crisis in Ukraine continued to unsettle markets and investors digested key U.S. labor data.


* Crimea's parliament voted to join Russia and its Moscow-backed government set a referendum within 10 days on the decision in a dramatic escalation of the crisis over the Ukrainian Black Sea peninsula.

* The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits fell more than expected and hit a three-month low last week, a sign of strength in a labor market that has been hobbled by severe weather.

* Oil and gas giants Chesapeake Energy and Encana Corp were charged on Wednesday with colluding to keep oil and gas lease prices artificially low in Michigan, state Attorney General Bill Schuette said.

* Canadian Natural Resources Ltd, Canada's No.2 oil and gas company, reported a 17 percent rise in quarterly profit, helped by higher output at its Pelican Lake project in Alberta.