September 19, 2014 / 12:58 PM / in 3 years

CANADA STOCKS-TSX set to open flat as futures pare gains after inflation data

(Adds Canada inflation and wholesale trade data)

Sept 19 (Reuters) - Stock futures pointed to a flat open for Canadian main stock index on Friday as the country’s annual inflation rate remained steady in August.

December futures on the S&P TSX index <0#SXF:> were up 0.06 percent 0851 ET, down from before the inflation data released.

The country’s annual inflation rate held steady at 2.1 percent in August, with higher shelter costs, specifically natural gas, accounting for much of the change, Statistics Canada said on Friday.

The value of Canadian wholesale sales in July unexpectedly dropped by 0.3 percent from June, pulled down in part by lower sales of agricultural supplies, Statistics Canada data indicated on Friday.

Canada’s main stock index ended little changed on Thursday as a drop in shares of gold miners amid weakness in the price of bullion was offset by a jump in TransCanada Corp.

Dow Jones Industrial Average e-mini futures were up 0.47 percent at 0851 ET, while S&P 500 e-mini futures were up 0.37 percent. Nasdaq 100 e-mini futures were up 0.35 percent. (Morning News Call newsletter link.reuters.com/nex49s; The Day Ahead newsletter link.reuters.com/mex49s)

TOP STORIES

TransCanada Corp is emerging as a possible target, with several U.S. activist hedge funds reviewing the nearly $38 billion pipeline operator as a break-up candidate, people close to the matter said.

Bank of Montreal was sued on Thursday by a trustee liquidating two Florida funds that claimed to have lost money in a Ponzi scheme operated by Minnesota businessman Thomas Petters.

Air Canada said on Thursday it will start charging some economy passengers for their first checked bag on flights within Canada and to the Caribbean and Mexico, days after rival WestJet Airlines Ltd introduced a similar fee.

COMMODITIES AT 0845 ET

Gold futures : $1,222.80; -0.25 pct

US crude : $92.97; -0.15 percent

Brent crude : $97.78; +0.07 percent

LME 3-month copper : $6,852; +0.14 percent

ANALYST RESEARCH HIGHLIGHTS

Air Canada : CIBC raises target price to C$14.75 from C$14.25

Penn West Petroleum Ltd : RBC raises target price by C$1 to C$11

Redknee Solutions Inc : RBC raises rating to “outperform” from “sector perform”

U.S. ECONOMIC DATA DUE ON FRIDAY

1000 Leading Index change mm for Aug: Expected +0.4 pct; Prior +0.9 pct

1030 ECRI Weekly Index: Prior +134.2

1030 ECRI Weekly Annualized: Prior +1.7 pct

FOR CANADIAN MARKETS NEWS, CLICK ON CODES:

TSX market report

Canadian dollar and bonds report

Reuters global stocks poll for Canada

Canadian markets directory

$1= C$1.11 Reporting by Samarendra Sahoo in Bangalore; Editing by Savio D'Souza

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