Jan 13 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index looked set to open lower on Thursday, as falling commodity prices and weak U.S. labor market data offset news of another multibillion dollar merger in the Canadian mining sector.
* Canadian equity futures <0#SXF:> pointed to a lower open
* U.S. stock index futures added to losses on Thursday after U.S. jobless claims jumped unexpectedly last week to their highest level since October, indicating continued weakness in the labor market. [.N]
* European shares were little changed by midday trade after 28-month highs a day earlier as miner-led declines and some market consolidation offset a good response to Spain’s bond auction. [.EU]
* Hong Kong shares rose, extending their weekly gains to over 5 percent as broad buying of large caps, in particular laggard financials, by funds helped lift the market and Japan’s Nikkei average rose to its highest close in eight months, buoyed by gains in undervalued financial shares.
* The Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB index .CRB, a global commodities benchmark, fell 0.14 percent in early trade.
* Brent oil futures climbed towards $100 a barrel, piling pressure on OPEC to raise production to prevent high prices hurting the world economy. [O/R]
* Gold eased, pulling back from the previous session’s one-week highs, as a series of successful euro zone bond auctions erased some safe-haven demand for the metal, although consumer demand remained fairly buoyant. [GOL/]
* Copper fell, pausing after two days of gains as investors worried about demand waning in China as the top metals consumer approaches its new year holiday and on concerns it may further tighten monetary policy. [MET/L]
* Lundin Mining (LUN.TO) and Inmet Mining IMN.TO: The 2 companies have agreed to join forces to create a C$9 billion copper producer, forging the latest in a series of deals involving Canadian miners. [ID:nN12239651]
* Research In Motion RIM.TO: The BlackBerry-maker said on Thursday it had given a solution ahead of a Jan. 31 target date that enables Indian wireless carriers lawful access to consumer services including the BlackBerry Messenger, but excluding access to corporate emails. [ID:nDEL003851]
* DragonWave Inc DWI.TO: The telecom equipment maker failed to break even in its third quarter as it struggled to escape dependency on its largest customer, Clearwire Corp. [ID:nN12225118]
* Forzani Group Ltd. FGL.TO: The sporting goods retailer said total retail system sales for the 10-week period ended Jan. 9 were up 6.5 percent as the cold weather boosted Christmas sales. [ID:nWNAB4376]
* Brookfield Asset Management (BAMa.TO): The company has put paper and packaging company Longview Fibre on the block, hiring Bank of America Corp to run the sales process, according to three sources familiar with the situation. [ID:nN12241580]
* Exfo Inc. (EXF.TO): The company, which provides services for the telecommunications industry, reported a higher first-quarter profit, helped by a gain from the sale of a division, and forecast higher second-quarter earnings. [ID:nSGE70BAXE]
Following is a summary of research actions on Canadian companies reported by Reuters. [RCH/CA]
* UR Energy URE.TO target price raised to C$3.90 from C$3.50; rating strong buy at Raymond James
$1= $1.00 Canadian Reporting by Kishan Nair and Bangalore Newsroom; Editing by Jeffrey Hodgson