May 10, 2012 / 12:53 PM / 5 years ago

CANADA STOCKS-TSX set to rise at open, U.S. jobs data supports

May 10 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index looked set to edge higher at the open on Thursday, after hitting a 2012 low on Wednesday, as healthier U.S. jobless claims data helped offset weaker-than-expected Chinese trade numbers.

TOP STORIES

* New U.S. claims for unemployment benefits edged down last week, according to government data that could ease concerns the labor market was deteriorating after April’s weak employment growth.

* China risks a fresh downturn in demand for goods from its massive factory sector, with weaker-than-expected exports and stalling headline import growth signaling that government spending is the crucial factor keeping the economy moving.

* Bombardier Inc reported a 14 percent fall in first-quarter profit as aircraft deliveries declined and new orders for its train division were flat.

* Sun Life Financial Inc profit rose 56 percent in the first quarter, helped by stronger stock markets and rising bond yields, Canada’s No. 3 life insurer said.

* Canadian oil company Pacific Rubiales Energy Corp swung to a first-quarter profit as a recent acquisition in Peru boosted production, it said on Thursday.

MARKET SNAPSHOT

* Canada stock futures traded up 0.41 percent

* U.S. stock futures , , were up around 0.30 percent.

* European shares, were up

COMMODITY PRICE MOVES

* Thomson Reuters-Jeffries CRB Index : 295.08; rose 0.08 percent

* Gold Futures : $1,594.2; rose 0.03 percent

* US Crude : $96.74; fell 0.07 percent

* Brent Crude : $113.06; fell 0.12 percent

* LME 3-month Copper : $8091.5; rose 0.47 percent

CANADIAN STOCKS TO WATCH

* Canada’s Cineplex Inc reported a profit in the first-quarter as blockbuster movies such as ‘The Hunger Games’ helped raise attendance at its theaters, and the motion picture exhibitor raised its annual dividend by 5 percent.

* AuRico Gold Inc. : The company’s first-quarter adjusted profit almost tripled as the company sold more gold at higher price.

* AltaGas Ltd : An AltaGas pipeline ruptured and leaked natural gas and liquid byproducts on aboriginal land in central Alberta, but the company and regulators said on Wednesday that it appears initially to be a small spill.

* Fibrek Inc. : The specialty pulp maker which is being acquired by Resolute Forest Products, posted a second straight quarterly loss, as pulp prices continue to decline.

* Magna International : Japan’s Nissan Motor Co said that Magna Steyr, the European unit of Magna International, will assemble Infiniti brand compact cars beginning in 2014.

ANALYST RECOMMENDATIONS

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

* Enbridge : Canaccord Genuity raises price target to C$41 from C$40 as the company continues to expand and take up more projects; rating hold

* Shawcor Ltd : RBC raises price target to C$44 from C$38 on a strong outlook and a hike in quarterly dividend

* Trinidad Drilling : CIBC raises to sector outperformer from sector performer on strong 1st-quarter results, cash flow

* Canfor Pulp Products : RBC raises to sector perform from underperform on valuation

* Peyto Exploration : Barclays raises target to C$20 from C$19, on solid 1st-quarter results; rating equal weight

ON THE CALENDAR

* Major Canadian economic data includes international trade and new housing price index

* Major U.S. events and data includes U.S. trade balance, jobless claims and federal budget

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