June 22, 2011 / 12:33 PM / 6 years ago

CANADA STOCKS-TSX may open lower as commodities weaken, Fed eyed

June 22 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index looked set to open lower on Wednesday as commodity prices dropped and concerns lingered about the outlook for the U.S. economy ahead of the conclusion of a U.S. Federal Reserve meeting.

The Federal Reserve on Tuesday began a two-day meeting against the backdrop of a weakening U.S. economy that will likely force policymakers to plan for the possibility that things may get worse. [ID:nFEDAHEAD]

FACTORS TO WATCH

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

* U.S. stock index futures pointed to a lower open on Wall Street, with futures for the S&P 500 SPc1 down 0.2 percent, Dow Jones DJc1 futures down 0.1 percent and Nasdaq 100 NDc1 futures down 0.2 percent at 0900 GMT. [.N]

* European equities fell, led lower by personal and household goods shares, with the optimism triggered by Greece’s vote of confidence proving to be short-lived. [.EU]

* The Nikkei stock average climbed 1.8 percent, hitting a three-week high as short-covering kicked in after Greece’s government survived a confidence vote crucial to avoiding default.

COMMODITY PRICE MOVES

* The Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB index .CRB, a global commodities benchmark, fell 0.18 percent in early trade.

* Oil fell with investors cautious ahead of a U.S. Federal Reserve meeting, and on lingering anxiety over the state of the euro zone, while gains in the dollar also weighed. [O/R]

* Gold eased modestly ahead of the outcome of a U.S. Federal Reserve meeting which could determine the near-term outlook for U.S. monetary policy, while the dollar edged up. [GOL/]

* Copper slipped as the dollar strengthened ahead of a U.S. rate statement and after Greek debt concerns eased, but signs of a slow demand ramp up from top consumer China underpinned prices. [MET/L]

CANADIAN STOCKS TO WATCH

* Canacol Energy Ltd. (CNE.TO): The company started heavy oil exploration drilling on its Tamarin and Cedrela exploration and production contracts in Colombia. [ID:nL3E7HM1MA]

* Labopharm Inc. DDS.TO: The biotechnology firm said it will delist its common shares from Nasdaq on June 30 and the company intends to terminate its public reporting obligations under the U.S. Securities Exchange Act. [ID:nL3E7HL3B1]

* Nexen Inc. NXY.TO: The independent oil explorer has been given approval to drill its first exploration well in the Gulf of Mexico since last year’s oil spill. [ID:nN1E75K1RE]

* Denison Mines DML.TO: Ron Hochstein, CEO of the uranium producer said on Tuesday he is frustrated by the U.S. government’s move to extend a ban on mining on 1 million acres of federal lands near the Grand Canyon, though the impact of the ban on his company remains unclear. [ID:nN1E75K15G]

ANALYST RECOMMENDATIONS

Following is a summary of research actions on Canadian companies reported by Reuters. [RCH/CA]

* Canadian Satellite Radio Holdings XSR.TO coverage resumed with outperform at National Bank

* Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO) rating raised to sector outperformer; price target C$52 at CIBC

* Encana (ECA.TO) rating cut to sector performer from sector outperformer at CIBC; price target cut to C$32 from C$34, rating market perform at Raymond James

$1= $0.97 Canadian Reporting by Kishan Nair; Editing by Jeffrey Hodgson

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