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

Mon Mar 5, 2012 8:13am EST
 
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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.   Continued...