CANADA STOCKS-TSX may open lower as U.S. spending cuts loom
Mar 1 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index looked set to open lower on Friday, as Canada's biggest trading partner failed to strike a deal to avoid automatic spending cuts.
* The U.S. government hurtled toward making deep spending cuts that threaten to hinder the nation's economic recovery, after Republicans and Democrats failed to agree on an alternative deficit-reduction plan.
* European manufacturing appeared no closer to recovery last month while growth in Asia cooled, according to business surveys and trade data that pointed to ongoing weakness in global demand.
* Auto parts maker Magna International Inc reported a 12.5 percent rise in profit on strong performance in its North American business, and raised its full-year sales forecast.
* North Sea-focused Ithaca Energy Inc said it would acquire Valiant Petroleum Plc for 203 million pounds in cash and shares.
* National Bank of Canada, the country's sixth-largest lender, on Thursday said its first-quarter profit rose 3.7 percent due largely to improved wealth management income.
MARKET SNAPSHOT Continued...