March 5, 2012 / 1:17 PM / 6 years ago

CANADA STOCKS-TSX may open lower on China, Europe growth worries

March 5 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index looked set to open lower on Monday, in line with global markets, after China announced its lowest annual growth target in eight years and uncertainty around Greece’s bailout dented investor sentiment.

A sharp downturn among Italian and Spanish businesses dragged the euro zone’s private sector back into decline last month, dashing hopes the region would avoid another recession, a survey showed.

FACTORS TO WATCH

* Canadian equity futures pointed to a lower open.

* U.S. stock index futures fell after data showed Europe’s private sector activity declined last month and China cut its growth target, reigniting concerns about the strength of the global economy.

* European shares fell as China’s move to set its lowest annual growth target in eight years and uncertainty surrounding Greece’s bailout prompted investors to sell riskier assets, with charts suggesting equities might suffer more in the near term.

COMMODITY PRICE MOVES

* The Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB index, a global commodities benchmark, fell 0.03 percent in early trade.

* Oil slipped to around $123 per barrel as worries over a supply crunch eased after China lowered its economic growth target for 2012.

* Gold prices slid below $1,700 an ounce in Europe as weaker-than-expected euro zone economic data lifted the dollar versus the euro, and as appetite for assets seen as higher risk, like stocks and commodities, suffered after China set its lowest annual growth target in eight years.

* Copper fell around 1 percent, undermined by news that top copper consumer China has shaved its economic growth outlook for this year, and by concerns over Greece’s progress on completing a huge debt restructuring deal.

CANADIAN STOCKS TO WATCH

* Petrominerales Ltd. : The oil and gas producer posted a more than two-fold rise in quarterly adjusted net income helped by higher production and oil prices.

* Enbridge Inc. : A key segment of the company’s oil pipeline system in the U.S. Midwest will remain shut down for up to four more days after a deadly vehicle accident in Illinois caused an oil leak and fire, likely squeezing supplies for refiners in the region, the company said on Sunday.

ANALYST RECOMMENDATIONS

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

* Adriana Resources : National Bank Financial starts with outperform

* Alderon Iron Ore : National Bank Financial starts with outperform

* Foraco : Canaccord Genuity raises price target to C$6 from C$5.50

* Franco Nevada Corp. : CIBC cuts price target to C$53 from C$55

* National Bank of Canada : CIBC raises price target to C$83 from C$80

* Oceanic Iron Ore : National Bank Financial starts with outperform

* Primaris Retail : Canaccord Genuity raises price target to C$24 from C$23.25; Macquarie raises price target to C$23.50 from C$22.50

* Surge Energy : CIBC raises price target to C$13.50 from C$11

* Transalta Corp : Canaccord Genuity cuts price target to C$23 from C$25; National Bank Financial cuts price target by C$1 to C$19

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