CANADA STOCKS-TSX may open lower, hurt by soft commodity prices

Thu Aug 11, 2011 8:56am EDT
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 (Adds Manulife results)
 Aug 11 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock market index was
set to open lower on Thursday, with easing gold and oil prices
and weaker European equities expected to further weigh on
investor sentiment.
 * Canadian equity futures <0#SXF:> pointed to a lower
 * U.S. stock futures pared losses after data showed initial
claims for jobless benefits fell to a four-month low last week
and were slightly better than expected. [.N]
 * Sharp declines in French bank shares dragged the
financial sector and European shares lower, with traders citing
growing concern about the outlook for French lenders. [.EU]
 * Markets in Asia were largely lower, with the Nikkei
resumed falling following a rebound the day before, after
rumors about the health of French banks reignited concerns over
the euro zone's debt crisis.
To receive an early e-mail of Reuters Morning News Call -
Canada -- a preview of market moving news -- Thomson Reuters
subscribers can register at [CA/MNC]
 * The Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB index .CRB, a global
commodities benchmark, fell 0.54 percent in early trade.
 * Brent crude fell below $106 a barrel, erasing earlier
dollar-fuelled gains, on investor concerns that the European
debt crisis could spill over to France and harm global economic
growth. [O/R]
 * Gold prices slipped more than 1 percent from record highs
as a move by CME Group to hike margins for trading COMEX gold
futures prompted some investors to cash in gains after an early
rally. [GOL/]
 * Copper prices rose, regaining a semblance of poise as
financial markets stabilized, fears of economic meltdown
receded and an appreciation of China's currency suggested it
was confident about its growth prospects. [MET/L]
 * Manulife Financial Corp MFC.TO earned C$490 million
($490 million) in the second quarter, topping estimates and
rebounding from a year-earlier loss, as the insurer cut losses
associated with weak financial markets. [ID:nN1E77914S]
 * Kinross Gold K.TO: The gold miner more than doubled its
quarterly profit and raised its dividend payout on Wednesday,
as surging bullion prices and acquisition-related production
growth helped boost results. [ID:nN1E7791QJ]
 * Iamgold Corp. IMG.TO: The miner said on Wednesday its
second-quarter operating profit more than tripled, driven by a
higher gold price and increased output. [ID: nN1E77921A]
 * Open Text OTC.TO: The business software company, posted
a 12 percent rise in quarterly adjusted profit on Wednesday and
said recent acquisitions would help its global growth.
 * Semafo Inc. SMF.TO: posted a higher second-quarter
profit as soaring gold prices offset lower gold production.
 * Aurizon Mines Ltd. ARZ.TO: The gold miner's
second-quarter profit rose 17 percent helped by surging gold
prices and higher output at Casa Berardi, its key producing
mine in Quebec. [ID:nL4E7JB01B]
 * SouthGobi Resources Ltd. SGQ.TO: The coal miner posted
a higher quarterly net profit, driven mainly by a rise in
average realized coal prices. [ID:nL3E7JA4XX]
 * North American Palladium Ltd. PDL.TO: The precious
metals company reported a second-quarter profit helped by a
69-percent rise in quarterly palladium production at the
company's flagship mine in Quebec and maintained its full year
palladium production forecast. [ID:nL3E7JA576]
 * Atrium Innovations ATB.TO: The dietary supplement-maker
posted a rise in its quarterly profit, helped mainly by strong
demand for its products. [ID:nL3E7JA4T9]
 * Birchcliff Energy Ltd. BIR.TO: The company's
second-quarter earnings nearly doubled as it cashed in on
higher production and lower operating costs, and it backed its
full-year production outlook. [ID:nL3E7JA4UK]
 * Miranda Technologies MT.TO: The technology provider's
second-quarter net income remained unchanged, but beat
estimates, as the television broadcast technology provider's
sales growth was offset by higher costs. [ID:nSGE77A00X]
 * Cineplex Inc. CGX.TO: The company reported a 40 percent
drop in second-quarter profit, hurt by one-time charges and
higher income tax expense. [ID:nSGE77A01S]
 Following is a summary of research actions on Canadian
companies reported by Reuters. [RCH/CA]
 * Extendicare REIT EXE_u.TO price target cut to C$8.75
from C$10 at RBC
 * Genivar Inc GNV.TO price target cut to C$30 from C$34
at Stonecap
 * Pure Technologies Ltd PUR.TO price target cut to C$4.50
from C$5 at Stonecap
 ($1= $1.00 Canadian)
 (Reporting by Karan Khemani; Editing by Jeffrey Hodgson)