June 24, 2011 / 1:01 PM / 6 years ago

CANADA STOCKS-TSX may open lower as soft gold offsets firm data

June 24 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index looked set to open slightly lower on Friday, with a softer bullion price likely to weigh on shares of gold miners, offsetting the impact of some firmer-than-expected U.S. economic data.

FACTORS TO WATCH

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

* U.S. stock index futures added to their gains on Friday, with Dow futures turning positive as data showed durable goods orders rose more than expected in May. [.N]

* European shares pared gains on Friday as traders pointed to a suspension of trade of Italian banking stocks. [.EU]

* Asian markets rose, with Nikkei average rising to a three-week closing high, led by Chinese stocks on hopes inflation will ease soon.

COMMODITY PRICE MOVES

* The Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB index .CRB, a global commodities benchmark, rose 0.42 percent in early trade.

* Oil's sharp sell-off paused as the impact of a surprise announcement of emergency fuel stocks from consumer nations faded. [O/R]

* Gold eased, adding to losses after a fall of as much as 2 percent the day before, after a rally in the dollar gathered pace as investors grew increasingly doubtful over Greece's ability to remain solvent. [GOL/]

* Copper rose more than 1 percent, after better than expected economic data from Germany boosted the euro and Greece's deal with international lenders lifted equity markets. [MET/L]

CANADIAN STOCKS TO WATCH

* Bombardier Inc. (BBDb.TO): The company's aerospace unit said a European customer has placed a order for 10 CS100 jetliners, valued at about $628 million. [ID:nL3E7HO16W]

* Athabasca Oil Sands Corp. (ATH.TO): The bitumen producer said it increased its net resource volume by 10 percent and raised its capital expense to drill more wells. [ID:nL3E7HO15P]

* Niko Resources (NKO.TO): The oil and gas company said it was indicted by Canadian authorities for bribing a Bangladeshi public official. [ID:nN1E75N02B]

* Western Copper (WRN.TO): The company said on Thursday it would spin off non-core assets into two new companies so that it can focus on development of its flagship Casino project in Canada's Yukon territory. [ID:nN1E75M1PU]

ANALYST RECOMMENDATIONS

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

* Fortis Inc (FTS.TO) rating cut to sector perform from outperform at National Bank

$1= $0.98 Canadian Reporting by Karan Khemani; Editing by Jeffrey Hodgson

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