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July 9 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index looked set to open higher on Friday after employment data showed Canada's economy created far more jobs than expected in June in a surprising sign of strength after a raft of discouraging data.
A rise in commodity prices, including oil, also suggested a stronger start.
Wall Street is also set for a higher open as investors brace for the start of earnings next week. [.N]
European shares extended a rally into a fourth session with banks among the gainers. European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet dismissed warnings that drastic and simultaneous spending cuts planned by euro zone governments could send the 16-country bloc back into recession.
Asian markets rose with Shanghai Composite Index posting its biggest weekly gain this year.
Here is some news that could affect stock prices:
Canada's economy created far more jobs than expected in June in a surprising sign of strength after a raft of discouraging data, fueling expectations the central bank will hike interest rates again this month. [ID:nN09262340]
Oil rose towards $76 a barrel on Friday, heading for its biggest weekly gain since May, after a drop in U.S. inventories and positive economic indicators lifted risk appetite and sentiment across markets. [O/R]
Copper rose 1.7 percent in London and 1 percent in Shanghai on Friday, supported by a rise in Asian stocks for a second day and hopes for strong Chinese imports and a positive U.S. earnings season. [MET/L]
Gold held just below $1,200 an ounce on Friday as some buyers were tempted back to the market by the metal's fall to six-week lows, but recovering risk appetite is undermining its haven appeal. [GOL/]
The Canadian dollar rose one percent against the U.S. dollar on Friday, extending gains after data showed a sharp increase in Canadian jobs. [CAD/]
Canadian stocks to watch include:
Research in Motion RIM.TO, maker of BlackBerry e-mail devices, said on Friday it is preparing to launch an applications store and consumer Internet services in China, as part of a big push into the world's top mobile market. [ID:nHKU000060]
TORONTO-DOMINION BANK (TD.TO)
Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO), Canada's second-biggest lender, said on Thursday it has acquired Calgary-based Ross Smith Sousa Advisors to boost its investment banking presence in the oil and gas sector. [ID:nN08234282]
Labopharm Inc DDS.TO said on Friday its lender, Hercules Technology Growth Capital HTGC.O, agreed to amend its debt agreement to extend both the period of interest-only payments and the maturity date of its loan by six months. [ID:nSGE6680F8]
West 49 WXX.TO said on Friday U.S.-based action sports retailer Zumiez Inc ZUMZ.O will be ready to better an offer for the Canadian retailer that was made by Australian clothing retailer Billabong International Ltd (BBG.AX), subject to a satisfactory due diligence review. [ID:nWNAB4413]
CROMBIE REIT (CRR_u.TO)
Crombie Real Estate Investment Trust (CRR_u.TO) said on Thursday it planned to acquire 11 retail properties worth C$102 million ($99 million) from Sobeys, a unit of Empire Co Ltd (EMPa.TO), to boost its presence in Western Canada and Ontario. [ID:nSGE6670J2]
Following is a summary of research actions on Canadian companies reported by Reuters. [RCH/CA]
* Crocodile Gold Corp CRK.TO price target cut to C$2.40 from C$2.70; rating outperform Raymond James
* Bird Construction Income Fund BDT_u.TO price target cut to C$35 from C$36 by Macquarie
$1=$1.03 Canadian Reporting by Bangalore newsroom, editing by Bhaswati Mukhopadhyay and Jeffrey Hodgson