CANADA STOCKS-TSX may open higher on oil; Japan fear persist

Thu Mar 17, 2011 8:30am EDT
 
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TORONTO, March 17 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index looked set to open higher on Thursday after declining for three sessions, boosted by a rise in the price of oil and other commodities, even as Japan's nuclear crisis and clashes in the Middle East weighed on investor sentiment.

FACTORS TO WATCH

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

* U.S. stock index futures bounced back, a day after Wall Street wiped out much of its gains for the year, but increasing worry over Japan's nuclear crisis was set to drive trading in another volatile day for markets. [.N]

* European share prices were higher, regaining some ground after a 7 percent slide over the past six sessions, but the rebound was seen as technical as Japan's nuclear plant crisis kept investors on edge. [.EU]

* Asian shares fell and Japan's domestic investors said they were posed to keep selling on rising yen volatility and a nuclear power plant crisis.

COMMODITY PRICE MOVES

* The Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB index .CRB, a global commodities benchmark, rose 1.01 percent in early trade.

* Oil rose by more than $2 as tensions in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain felled fears of further supply disruption while investors weighed the impact on energy demand from quake-hit Japan. [O/R]   Continued...