CANADA STOCKS-TSX set open slightly higher; commodities soft

Thu Jan 6, 2011 8:48am EST
 
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Jan 6 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index looked set to open slightly higher on Thursday, helped by growing optimism about the outlook for the North American economy, even as some U.S. data came in weaker-than-expected and commodities traded little changed.

FACTORS TO WATCH

* Canadian equity futures <0#SXF:> pointed to a higher open.

* U.S. stock index futures trimmed gains slightly on Thursday after new jobless claims rose more than expected last week, even as a drop in the four-week average indicated an improving labor market. [.N]

* European shares were higher late morning, on growing confidence the economic recovery was on a stronger footing after U.S. employment figures pointed to a pick-up in the labor market. [.EU]

* Japanese stocks rallied as investors snapped up shares of big exporters after the dollar hit two-week highs against the yen, but markets elsewhere in Asia were more subdued ahead of the influential U.S. non-farm payrolls report.

COMMODITY PRICE MOVES

* The Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB index .CRB, a global commodities benchmark, rose 0.02 percent in early trade.

* Oil hovered around $90 as the dollar strengthened slightly but Wednesday's positive U.S. private sector payroll data continued to provide support, raising expectations for a sustained recovery. [O/R]   Continued...