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TORONTO, Jan 8 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index looked set for a lower open on Friday after a pair of weak employment reports in Canada and the U.S. splashed cold water on investor optimism about a robust economic recovery.
The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE could follow the trend in the U.S., where stock index futures turned negative after the disappointing U.S. jobs reading. [.N]
A decline in the index would extend losses from Thursday, when the TSX fell for the first time in six days after commodity prices were hit by a rising U.S. dollar and signs that China may tighten its monetary policy. [ID:nN07214349]
Here is some of the news that may affect the market:
Canada's labor market recovery stalled in December, unexpectedly losing 2,600 jobs after hefty gains in November in another sign the economic comeback will be gradual rather than in leaps and bounds. [ID:nN08233091]
U.S. employers unexpectedly cut 85,000 jobs in December, government data showed on Friday, cooling optimism on the labor market's recovery and keeping pressure on President Barack Obama. [ID:nN07203048]
Oil hovered above $82 a barrel on Friday after snapping a 10-day winning streak the previous day as traders eyed U.S. jobs data due later for clues about the pace of demand recovery in the world's largest oil consumer. [O/R]
Jean Coutu Group (PJCa.TO) returned to a profit as more customers bought over-the-counter remedies in the wake of the H1N1 outbreak, the Canadian drugstore chain said on Friday. [ID:nN08234001]
Canada-listed coal miner SouthGobi Energy Resources (SGQ.TO) has secured Asia's top sovereign wealth funds, China Investment Corp (CIC) and Temasek, as cornerstone investors in its planned $400 million Hong Kong IPO this month, a source told Reuters on Friday. [ID:nTOE60709O]
Following is a summary of research actions on Canadian companies reported by Reuters on Friday. [RCH/CA]
* Citigroup raised Canadian fertilizer maker Agrium Inc (AGU.N) to "buy" from "hold," saying farmers and retailers are likely to slowly rebuild inventories.
* UBS raises Goldcorp Inc (G.TO) price target to $53.50 from $53; Rating Buy
* CI Capital raises Aecon Group Inc (ARE.TO) price target to C$19 from C$16.50; Rating Outperform
$1=$1.04 Canadian Reporting by Claire Sibonney; Editing by Jeffrey Hodgson