March 2, 2012 / 1:27 PM / 5 years ago

CANADA STOCKS-TSX set to open lower as commodities weigh

4 Min Read

March 2 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index was set for a lower open on Friday, as commodity prices including gold and oil fell and Thursday's global equity rally sparked by a European Central Bank cash injection lost steam.

Factors to Watch

* Canadian equity futures pointed to a lower open.

* Futures on the S&P 500 edged lower in sparse volume in a light day on the economic calendar but were still on track to close their ninth straight week of gains, the longest such run since January 2004.

* European shares turned negative and safehaven German bonds extended gains, after Spain signaled it will aim for a higher deficit this year than previously agreed with the European Union.

Commodity Price Moves

* The Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB index, a global commodities benchmark, fell 0.43 percent in early trade.

* Crude oil futures slipped below $125 a barrel, after surging 5 percent to an 11-month high a day earlier, as fears of a supply disruption from Saudi Arabia eased, calming investors who now expect oil demand to fall in coming weeks.

* Gold eased, under the weight of the stronger dollar, and was set for its largest weekly decline since mid-December after an aggressive sell-off earlier in the week, although investors showed no loss of appetite for the metal.

* Copper prices steadied, after rising more than 1 percent in the previous session following reassuring manufacturing data from China, but continued concerns about slow demand from the metal's top consumer prevented further gains.

Canadian Stocks to Watch

* First Quantum Minerals : Production at its Zambian flagship copper mine has ground to a halt because of a strike over wages, the Zambian labour minister said.

* Cameco Corp : The uranium miner said it agreed to buy Areva Resources Canada's entire 27.94 percent stake in the northern Saskatchewan-based Millennium project for C$150 million.

* National Bank of Canada's : The bank's quarterly profit rose 3.1 percent, topping analyst estimates, as the lender benefited from stronger retail banking and financial markets earnings.

* New Gold Inc. : The miner posted a 26 percent fall in quarterly adjusted profit, as it produced and sold less gold.

* Enbridge Inc.: The company and Enterprise Products Partner are planning to build a pipeline to move crude to Enterprise's ECHO terminal that has come down the reversed Seaway pipeline to its terminus in Jones Creek, Texas.

* ShawCor Ltd. : The energy services company posted a lower fourth-quarter profit, hurt in part by lower margins at its key pipeline segment.

* IMRIS Inc. : The surgical imaging devices maker posted a fourth-quarter loss, hurt in part by delayed product installations.

Analyst Recommendations

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

* Bombardier : CIBC cuts price target to C$6.50 from C$7; JP Morgan cuts price target to C$6.50 from C$7.50, rating overweight

* Bonavista Energy : Barclays cuts target to C$26 from C$27, rating equal weight

* Constellation Software : CIBC raises price target to C$99 from C$79.50

* First National Financial : NBF cuts target to C$18 from C$19, rating sector perform

* RBC : NBF raises price target to C$62 from C$58, rating sector perform; CIBC raises price target to C$62 from C$59

* TD : CIBC raises price target to C$91 from C$88

* Teck Resources : Nomura starts with neutral

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