January 28, 2011 / 2:02 PM / 7 years ago

CANADA STOCKS-TSX may open little changed, commods steady

Jan 28 (Reuters) - Canadian stock futures pointed to little change at Friday’s opening as commodity prices held steady, with investors keeping a close eye on growth data from the United States, Canada’s biggest trading partner.

FACTORS TO WATCH

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

* U.S. stock index futures were little changed a day after equities hit a new 29-month high, as investors awaited a key reading on economic growth. [.N]

* European shares slipped back, with miners among the biggest fallers, and as investors awaited U.S. gross domestic product data that is expected to set short-term market direction. [.EU]

* Asian stocks fell in a broad wave of profit-taking, giving up much of this week’s gains, while a ratings cut gave investors an excuse to reduce their Japanese share holdings.

COMMODITY PRICE MOVES

* The Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB index .CRB, a global commodities benchmark, fell 0.07 percent in early trade.

* U.S. crude oil futures steadied near two-month lows around $86 per barrel after talk of OPEC raising output to cool prices, while robust demand in Europe and Asia bolstered North Sea Brent. [O/R]

* Gold edged higher as caution dogged the financial markets ahead of U.S. growth data due later, having earlier hit a near four-month low as a better economic outlook dented safe-haven buying of the metal. [GOL/]

* Copper rose and tin hit another record high on tightening supply concerns but markets awaited cautiously economic data from the world’s biggest economy, the United States. [MET/L]

CANADIAN STOCKS TO WATCH

* Norbord Inc. NBD.TO: The wood-panels producer’s fourth-quarter loss narrowed on the back of higher North American oriented strand board and European panel prices. [ID:nSGE70R08B]

* Baffinland Iron Mines BIM.TO: The company on Thursday said it had made changes to its board, and appointed Phil Toit as president and CEO. [ID:nSGE70R02A]

* Research In Motion RIM.TO: North American smartphone vendors Apple and RIM, along with low-cost Chinese producer ZTE, emerged as the biggest winners on the booming cellphone market in final quarter of 2010. [ID:nSGE70Q04Z]

* Continental Gold (CNL.TO): The company said on Thursday its Buritica project could be the “company maker” that will propel the Canadian junior into a defacto mid-tier gold producer in Colombia. [ID:nN27286249]

* Dalsa Corp. DSA.TO: The chipmaker which had agreed to be bought by Teledyne Technologies Inc, on Thursday posted better-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings, helped by a return in demand for its digital imaging products. [ID:nSGE70Q0E9]

* Gazit America Inc. GAA.TO: The company said its unit ProMed Properties Inc acquired a newly built medical office building in Longueuil, Quebec for C$15.5 million. [ID:nSGE70Q0EM]

* Zarlink Semiconductor Inc. ZL.TO: The Canadian chipmaker on Thursday posted a higher third-quarter profit, helped by the sale of a campus in Sweden, but forecast fourth-quarter results below market estimates. [ID:nSGE70Q09T]

ANALYST RECOMMENDATIONS

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

* First Uranium FIU.TO rating cut to market perform from outperform at Raymond James.

($1= $0.99 Canadian)

Reporting by Kishan Nair and Bangalore Newsroom

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