Aug 24 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index could open lower on Tuesday as concerns over domestic growth and the global recovery dent commodity prices, pressuring the resource-heavy index.
* Canadian equity futures <0#SXF:> pointed to a lower open.
* The Canadian dollar weakened and rate hike expectations fell after a report showed Canadian retail sales grew less than expected in June as gasoline prices slumped, partially offsetting a rebound in auto sales. [ID:nN24252766]
* U.S. stock index futures fell on Tuesday, tracking global equities lower, as investors grew concerned over the pace of economic recovery and prepared for data expected to show further weakness in U.S. housing. [.N]
* European stocks tumbled to a five-week low, with construction and cement shares taking a beating after Irish building supplies major CRH Plc (CRH.I) warned core earnings would fall 10 percent this year.
* Shares were also hammered in Tokyo, where the Nikkei average hit a 15-month closing low below 9,000 points, with hedge funds and foreigners seen selling amid mounting concern about the authorities’ inaction over the strong yen.
* The Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB index .CRB, a global commodities benchmark, fell 1.03 percent in early trade.
* Oil prices fell towards $72 a barrel on Tuesday, down for a fifth day as gloom about the ability of top consumer the United States to work through record stocks weighed on sentiment. [O/R]
* Gold prices slipped in Europe on Tuesday to their lowest in nearly a week, caught up in selling of other assets such as equities, oil and the euro, as investors fretted over the outlook for the global economy. [GOL/]
* Copper hit its lowest in more than a week on Tuesday as a stronger dollar and weaker equities weighed and players remained nervous about the outlook for demand given uninspiring economic data. [MET/L]
* Potash Corp (POT.TO): BHP Billiton’s (BLT.L) (BHP.AX) monster earnings expected this week could strengthen its hand in its $39 billion bid for fertiliser group Potash Corp and intimidate any rival bidders. [ID:nSGE67N08C]
* Bank of Montreal (BMO.TO): Canada’s No. 4 bank said on Tuesday that quarterly profit rose 20 percent as a sharp drop in loan-loss provisions more than offset declining capital markets income. [ID:nN24241238]
* Agrium Inc (AGU.TO): The Canadian fertilizer maker moved closer to securing its $1.07 billion takeover of Australia’s AWB Ltd AWB.AX after the nation’s largest wheat exporter formally backed the offer. [ID:nSGE67N026]
* Penn West Energy Trust’s PWT_u.TO: Japan’s Mitsubishi Corp (8058.T) said it will join Penn West Energy Trust’s project to produce shale gas in British Columbia, Canada, and invest about $3.5 billion in it over 15 years. [ID:nTOE67N063]
* Enbridge Inc ENB.TO: The outage of an Enbridge pipeline after last month’s rupture and oil spill in Michigan has forced the company to limit the volumes its shippers had planned to move on two other major lines in its U.S. system, the company said on Monday. [ID:nN23212544]
* Russel Metals Inc RUS.TO: The company said on Monday it is consolidating its structural steel and other long products operations into one facility, a move that will eliminate the jobs of about 80 employees at its Port Robinson, Ontario, plant. [ID:nN23212417]
* Nevsun Resources NSU.TO NSU.A: Nevsun Resources said on Monday it bought out a third party royalty on its flagship mine in the horn of Africa for C$18.5 million, and said the increased stake would add to earnings. [ID:nSGE67M0MS]
* Allied Nevada Corp ANV.A ANV.TO: The Gold producer said Newmont Mining Corp (NEM.N) decided not to enter into a joint venture to explore the Hasbrouck and Three Hills properties in Nevada. [ID:nSGE67M0MI]
* Western Forest Products (WEF.TO): United Steelworkers Union has ratified a four-year contract with Western Forest Products, which includes new job security provisions in the event of permanent partial closures. [ID:nSGE67M0MA]
* Absolute Software Corp ABT.TO: Absolute Software on Monday posted a quarterly loss, hurt partly by higher sales and marketing expenses, and said it was cautiously optimistic about 2011. [ID:nSGE67M0MC]
Following is a summary of research actions on Canadian companies reported by Reuters. [RCH/CA]
* Seaview Energy CVUa.V price target raised to C$1.75 from C$1.45; rating outperform at Macquarie
* Torstar (TSb.TO) rating raised to outperform from sector perform at RBC
$1=$1.06 Canadian Reporting by Bangalore newsroom, editing by Bhaswati Mukhopadhyay and Jeffrey Hodgson