March 12 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index looked set to open lower as investor sentiment fell on disappointing UK data and fears of a slowdown in Chinese growth.
* Intense lobbying by central government agencies and debt-laden local governments is keeping People’s Bank of China hawks in check after inflation jumped to a 10-month high, forcing the central bank to keep its monetary policy setting in neutral.
* British manufacturing output fell in January at the fastest pace since June, reinforcing fears that the economy has tipped into its third recession since the 2008 financial crisis.
* The euro zone crisis is not over, France is slipping on reforms and the Bundesbank has set aside billions in new provisions for what it sees as risky European Central Bank moves, Germany’s central bank said.
* Copper miner Antofagasta sought to brush off investor worries about its growth options with a better-than-expected 2012 payout and special dividend, as profits ticked higher despite lower copper prices.
* Canadian employers are likely to keep adding jobs in the second quarter but at a slightly slower pace than in the first quarter, with the highest growth in the transportation and utilities sectors, according to a survey.
* Canada stock futures traded down 0.01 percent
* U.S. stock futures , , were down around 0.21 percent
* European shares, were mixed
* Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB Index : 295.3991; rose 0.06 percent
* Gold futures : $1,593.5; rose 0.82 percent
* US crude : $92.1; rose 0.04 percent
* Brent crude : $109.94; fell 0.25 percent
* LME 3-month copper : $7,784; rose 0.34 percent
* Talisman Energy : Dutch maritime services group SBM Offshore said it had agreed a $470 million settlement with the oil company and its partners to end a loss-making Norwegian oil platform project.
Following is a summary of research actions on Canadian companies reported by Reuters.
* Canacol Energy Ltd : CIBC raises from sector performer to sector outperformer, says the addition of the Esperanza gas field and recent success on Block 23 gives more upside than downside at current prices.
* Cargojet Inc : Canaccord Genuity raises target price to C$62 from C$58, says the continued integration of Statoil Fuel & Retail has the company well positioned for earnings growth.
* COM DEV International Inc : CIBC raise price target to $4.75 from $4.00 as the company’s first-quarter results came in line with expectations and it continues to enjoy a solid book of business against a strong demand environment.
* WesternOne Inc : National Bank Financial raises target price to C$10.00 from C$9.50 as the company reported fourth-quarter results.
* No major Canadian economic data scheduled for release
* Major U.S. events and data includes Redbook data