CANADA STOCKS-TSX may open lower, Fed minutes and euro zone PMI weigh

Thu Feb 21, 2013 8:39am EST
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Feb 21 (Reuters) - Canadian stock index futures pointed to a lower open on Thursday, dragged down soft euro zone data and minutes from the Federal Open Market Committee meeting which suggested the possibility of the central bank ending its stimulus program.


* The schism dividing the euro zone's strong and weak economies deepened to include its core pairing in February as French firms suffered their worst month in four years in stark contrast to prospering Germany.

* A number of Federal Reserve officials think the central bank might have to slow or stop buying bonds before seeing the pickup in hiring the program is designed to deliver, according to minutes of the central bank's policy meeting last month.

* Bombardier reported a 93 percent drop in fourth quarter profit after taking a restructuring charge of $119 million.

* Tim Hortons reported a dip in fourth-quarter profit on Thursday and raised its dividend even as it said a tough market may hold back sales growth in its established coffee shops during the current quarter.

* Loblaw Cos Ltd posted an 18 percent fall in fourth-quarter profit on a restructuring charge.

* Wal-Mart Stores Inc posted a higher quarterly profit and raised its dividend payout on Thursday, as efforts such as extending its lay away program and matching competitors' prices attracted shoppers during the competitive holiday season.   Continued...