CANADA STOCKS-TSX may open lower on stalled budget talks

Thu Dec 13, 2012 8:35am EST
 
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Dec 13 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index looked set to open lower on Thursday as wariness over the stalled U.S. budget negotiations overshadows the Federal Reserve's announcement of a fresh stimulus program.

TOP STORIES

* Sharp differences remained on Wednesday between congressional Republicans and the White House in talks to avert the government going over the "fiscal cliff" of steep tax hikes and budget cuts, and negotiators warned the showdown could drag on past Christmas.

* The Federal Reserve on Wednesday took the unprecedented step of saying it would keep interest rates near zero until the jobless rate falls to 6.5 percent, well below its current level, and it promised to pump more money into the economy.

* Euro zone finance ministers and the International Monetary Fund have agreed to release 49.1 billion euros in aid to Greece by the end of March, with most of that sum flowing immediately, senior EU officials said.

* A U.S. federal agency is set to trial Research In Motion's new BlackBerry 10 smartphone after recently ditching the brand in favor of Apple Inc's iPhone, in a boost for the embattled Canadian company.

* Barclays Plc plans to cut as many as 2,000 jobs in its investment bank as part of a broad restructuring of the company, the WSJ reported, citing people familiar with the British bank's plans.

* Sprint Nextel Corp is looking to buy Clearwire Corp stock it does not already own for $2.90 per share, it said in a regulatory filing.

MARKET SNAPSHOT   Continued...