CANADA STOCKS-TSX may open higher on optimism about U.S. economy

Thu Mar 15, 2012 8:47am EDT
 
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March 15 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index looked set to open higher on Thursday, buoyed by stronger U.S. economic data and hopes it will support commodity price gains.

Optimism about prospects for Canada's largest export market were boosted by data showing new U.S. claims for unemployment benefits fell back to a four-year low last week, suggesting further strengthening in the labor market there.

FACTORS TO WATCH

* Canadian equity futures pointed to a higher open.

* U.S. stock index futures advanced, indicating the S&P 500 may resume its upward march.

* European shares paused near eight-month highs with investors awaiting reassurance on the strength of the global economy and signs the improvement was filtering through into corporate earnings before pushing the rally further.

COMMODITY PRICE MOVES

* The Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB index, a global commodities benchmark, fell 0.11 percent in early trade.   Continued...