CANADA STOCKS-TSX set to open flat; soft gold, oil offset Potash

Thu Jan 27, 2011 8:56am EST
 
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Jan 27 (Reuters) - Canadian stocks looked set to open little changed on Thursday, as lower gold and oil prices and weak U.S. jobless claims data offset strong profit gains at Potash Corp. (POT.TO: Quote), the world's top fertilizer maker.

FACTORS TO WATCH

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

* U.S. stock index futures turned negative on Thursday after the U.S. jobless claims data showed employment remains a challenge for the U.S. economy. [.N]

* Gains in mining sector shares helped European shares edged higher after a softer start, although a downgrade of Japan's credit rating by Standard & Poor's limited gains. [.EU]

* Asian stocks were mixed with shares in with Shanghai's key stock index up for a second day gaining 1 percent, but fresh measures to cool China's real estate market knocked property stocks lower.

COMMODITY PRICE MOVES

* The Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB index .CRB, a global commodities benchmark, rose 3.22 percent in early trade.

* U.S. crude oil futures prices briefly extended losses on Thursday in choppy trading after a report showed initial jobless claims rose last week. [O/R]   Continued...