September 4, 2009 / 1:05 PM / 8 years ago

CANADA STOCKS-TSX may strengthen on resources, jobs data

(Adds U.S. jobs data, other items)

TORONTO, Sept 4 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index may open higher on Friday, boosted by stronger-than-expected jobs data in Canada and the U.S., while strengthening commodity prices could also help lift the resource-laden market.

Canada unexpectedly added jobs last month, a further sign that the economy is healing. The U.S. nonfarm payrolls report added to evidence that the U.S. economy was also on the mend, as the pace of layoffs eased from early this year even as the jobless rate rose. U.S. stock index futures were sharply higher, suggesting a higher open. [.N]

The S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed Thursday’s session up 220.17 points, or 2.06 percent, at 10,921.49.

Here is some of the news that may affect the market.

JOBS DATA

* Canada’s economy added 27,100 jobs in August but the unemployment rate rose to an 11-1/2 year high of 8.7 percent from 8.6 percent in July as more people entered the labor market, Statistics Canada said. [ID:nN04153956]

* U.S. employers cut a fewer-than-expected 216,000 jobs in August, while the unemployment rate rose to a 26-year high. The U.S. Labor Department said the unemployment rate rose to 9.7 percent after dipping to 9.4 percent in July and the decline in payrolls was the smallest in a year. [ID:nN03530870]

COMMODITIES

New York gold futures partially erased losses following the U.S. August non-farm payrolls report. Prices remained within striking distance of the psychological $1,000 an ounce mark. [ID:nWEN3109]

Oil ticked up above $68 a barrel in relatively thin dealing. [ID:nSIN394754]

POTASH CORP OF SASKATCHEWAN

Shares in K+S SDFG.DE rose on Friday as traders pointed to market talk that peer Potash Corp of Saskatchewan (POT.TO) might be considering bidding 50 euros per share for the German salts and fertilizer firm. [ID:nWEA9459]

SUNCOR

Suncor Energy Inc (SU.TO) said on Thursday it expects to cut 1,000 jobs by the middle of next month as it consolidates operations and reduces costs after its C$22.7 billion acquisition of Petro-Canada last month. [ID:nN03124007]

RESEARCH ROUNDUP: REGIONAL BANKS

The following is a summary of research actions on Canadian regional banks after Laurentian Bank of Canada LB.TO and Canadian Western Bank (CWB.TO) both posted better-than-expected earnings to round out a string of upside surprises by Canada’s major banks in the third quarter. [ID:nN039427]

* Macquarie, Genuity, Dundee, BMO raise Laurentian Bank price target

* Macquarie, Genuity, BMO raise CWB price target

For more research, please double click [RCH/CA]

CANADIAN RETAILERS

A weak back-to-school shopping period for Canadian retailers could signal a drop in quarterly results, though the low expectations of investors are likely to protect the sector’s share prices from an autumn plunge. With most students heading back to school next week, the usual stampede of shoppers has yet to materialize at Canada’s big stores, though Walmart Canada may be an exception. [ID:nN0386261]

GM OPEL DECISION

Germany raised the pressure on General Motors to choose a buyer for its Opel unit, with the Economy Minister telling the U.S. carmaker he expected a “fundamental decision” next week. Frustration with GM is mounting in the German government, which has come out strongly in favour Canadian auto parts group Magna’s MGa.TO bid for Opel. [ID:nL435142] (Reporting by Ka Yan Ng; Editing by Jeffrey Hodgson)

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