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May 19 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index looked set to open lower on Wednesday after a surprise move by Germany to ban risky bets on bonds, stocks and credit protection in a tentative crack down on speculative trading.
European and Asian equities fell sharply with banking stocks being the top losers.
Oil was down about 2 percent, earlier touching its lowest in more than seven months, pressured by high U.S. stockpiles.
Gold slipped as low as US$1,205.60 an ounce, caught up in selling of other assets and as confidence in the euro waned.
But news U.S. inflation remains tame could help support stocks. U.S. consumer prices unexpectedly fell in April for the first time in a year, with the core annual rate recording its smallest gain since 1966. [ID:nN19219213]
Here is some news that could affect stock prices:
Oil fell to $68 a barrel after touching its lowest in more than seven months on Wednesday, pressured by high U.S. stockpiles and as concern over tighter financial regulation dampened appetite for riskier assets. [O/R]
Industrial metal prices slid on Wednesday in a sell-off triggered by a German ban on risky bets in the bond, stock and credit markets and the stronger dollar against the euro. Prices of steel ingredients zinc and nickel tumbled 5 percent. [MET/L]
Gold fell in Europe on Wednesday, caught up in selling of other assets like stocks and the euro, after Germany's move to ban some naked shorting and after German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the euro was in danger. [GOL/]
Canaccord Financial (CF.TO) on Wednesday reported higher-than-expected fourth-quarter results, which included a profit that more than tripled from the previous year. [ID:nN19200313]
Sears Canada SCC.TO said on Tuesday first-quarter profit fell 30 percent, and announced a C$3.50-per-share special dividend and a possible share buyback that would bring parent Sears Holdings Corp (SHLD.O) closer to full ownership of the company. [ID:nN18181261]
Prism Technologies said on Tuesday it has reached a settlement with Research in Motion RIM.TO after it accused the BlackBerry maker of violating one of its patents. [ID:nN18125009]
EOG Resources Inc (EOG.N), a U.S. independent oil explorer with a stake in the Horn River shale gas field in northern British Columbia, agreed on Tuesday to buy the backer of a Canadian liquefied natural gas project for an undisclosed price. [ID:nN18174444]
Canadian Natural Resources Ltd (CNQ.TO) is wary of inflation as it works out the details of the next phase of its Horizon oil sands project after the costs of the initial stage surged 43 percent over budget, the company's president said on Tuesday. [ID:nN18161670]
Coastal Contacts Inc COA.TO said on Wednesday it sued one of it directors on allegations of, among other things, breach of fiduciary duties and failure to act honestly and in good faith with a view to the best interests of Coastal. [ID:nCJX853CCa]
Following is a summary of research actions on Canadian companies reported by Reuters. [RCH/CA]
Note: All values in RESEARCH ROUNDUP in Canadian currency, unless otherwise stated.
* Boardwalk REIT (BEI_u.TO) target price raised to $42 from $37; rating market perform at Raymond James
* Crocodile Gold CRK.TO target price cut to $2.70 from $3; rating outperform at Raymond James
* Westernzagros Resources WZR.V rating cut to neutral from buy at UBS
$1=$1.05 Canadian Reporting by Bangalore newsroom, editing by Jeffrey Hodgson