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TORONTO, April 19 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock market looked set to open lower on Monday as fraud charges against Goldman Sachs continue to rattle commodity and equity markets.
Wall Street is also set for a lower start with focus on the banking sector. Citigroup Inc (C.N) posted a $4.43 billion first-quarter profit as it set aside less money to cover credit losses. The other heavy hitter on the earnings agenda is technology bellwether IBM (IBM.N). [.N]
European shares were down, with banks extending declines from Friday and airlines sliding as flying restrictions persisted. Airline industry group IATA criticized Europe's response to a volcanic ash cloud and called for urgent steps to reopen airspace after five days of closures that have cost airlines $250 million a day.
Asian markets suffered their biggest loss in 10 weeks after China clamped down harder on property speculation, telling banks to refuse credit to people who are clearly buying homes for speculative purposes.
Here is some news that could affect stock prices:
Oil hit a 3-week low below $82 a barrel on Monday as the fraud charges filed against Goldman Sachs (GS.N) dampened risk appetite and European flights remained disrupted, curbing jet fuel use. [O/R]
Gold fell more than 1 percent in Europe on Monday to its lowest in nearly two weeks as news that the U.S. authorities have charged Goldman Sachs with fraud hurt commodities but lifted the dollar. [GOL/]
Copper fell to a three-week low on Monday, as investors steered clear of assets sees as high risk after U.S. regulators charged Wall Street bank Goldman Sachs with fraud, and as the dollar rose. [MET/L]
Bank stocks are expected to be in focus, following a steep decline Friday after Goldman was charged with fraud by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in the structuring and marketing of a debt product tied to subprime mortgages. [ID:nN16123404]
General Growth Properties Inc (GGP.N) would welcome an improved offer from Brookfield Asset Management Inc (BAMa.TO) to help it finance a plan to exit bankruptcy as a stand-alone company, after Simon Property Group Inc (SPG.N) offered to replace Brookfield, a source close to the U.S. mall owner said on Friday. [ID:nN16137440]
Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO) TD.N, Canada's No. 2 bank, on late Friday acquired assets and liabilities of three troubled Florida banks worth $3.8 billion from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp (FDIC). [ID:nSGE63F0KC]
Porter Airlines, an upstart challenger to Canada's big listed carriers, said on Friday it planned an initial public stock offering to raise cash for new aircraft for its expanding route network. [ID:nN16149681]
Drugmaker Akela Pharma Inc AKL.TO on Friday agreed with HEP Spring Davis to terminate its lease on a Texas property, eliminating future payment obligations of US$14.5 million. [ID:nSGE63F0K2]
CryptoLogic Ltd's CRY.TO unit, WagerLogic Ltd, has begun formal arbitration proceedings against Marvel Enterprises Inc and Marvel Enterprises B.V. on ground of committing material breaches of certain provisions of an agreement. [ID:nWLB2770]
Insurer Kingsway Financial Services Inc (KFS.TO). On Friday said its CEO Colin Simpson is stepping down to pursue other career interests on June 30, and will be replaced by Larry Swets, the company's executive vice president of corporate development. [ID:nSGE63F0K1]
Miner Pan American Silver Corp PAA.TO ended a strike on Friday that had halted production at the Huaron silver mine, a union leader told Reuters. [ID:nN16106807]
Southwest Airlines Co (LUV.N) said on Friday it has told WestJet Airlines (WJA.TO) that it will end a partnership agreement that would have given the low-cost U.S. carrier a foothold in the Canadian market. [ID:nN16123072]
The Costa Rican Supreme Court ruled on Friday that mining company, Infinito Gold Ltd IG.V, can proceed with its open-pit gold mine, striking down complaints from environmental groups that the project was destroying virgin forest. [ID:nN16144052]
Following is a summary of research actions on Canadian companies reported by Reuters on Monday. [RCH/CA]
* Anooraq Resources Corp ARQ.V rating raised to outperform from market perform at Raymond James
* NAL Oil & Gas Trust NAE_u.TO rating raised to outperform from market perform at Raymond James
* Stornoway Diamond Corp (SWY.TO) rating raised to outperform from market perform at Raymond James (Reporting by Bangalore newsroom, editing by Savio D'Souza and Jeffrey Hodgson)