October 18, 2011 / 12:37 PM / in 6 years

TSX may open lower as China weighs on commodities

Oct 18 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index looked set to open lower on Tuesday as worries about slowing Chinese economy dragged commodity prices down.

FACTORS TO WATCH

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

* S&P 500 stock index futures eased modestly after a Moody’s warning on France’s credit rating and a slowdown in China’s growth revived concerns over a worsening debt crisis in Europe and a hard landing for Asian economies. [.N]

* European shares fell, with miners among the biggest casualties after China, the world’s largest metal-consuming nation, reported lower growth rates, while French stocks underperformed after a warning from Moody’s about the country’s credit rating. [.EU]

* Asian and Australian shares fell, as resource stocks tumbled on renewed worries about the global economy. ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ To receive an early e-mail of Reuters Morning News Call - Canada -- a preview of market moving news -- Thomson Reuters subscribers can register at [CA/MNC] ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

COMMODITY PRICE MOVES

* The Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB index .CRB, a global commodities benchmark, fell 0.8 percent in early trade.

* Brent crude futures slid below $110 a barrel, paring earlier gains, after weaker Chinese third-quarter economic growth prompted concern about future demand from the world’s second-largest oil consumer and as Moody’s warned France of a negative outlook. [O/R]

* Gold fell after evidence of slowing Chinese growth and mounting worries over the euro zone following a warning from a ratings agency over France’s triple-A credit rating weighed on the commodities complex and boosted the dollar. [GOL/]

* Copper fell after top metals consumer China’s economic growth data came in a touch lower than expected and on concerns about its biggest trading partner Europe’s festering debt problems. [MET/L]

CANADIAN STOCKS TO WATCH

* Enbridge Inc. (ENB.TO): Canada’s energy regulator has asked the company to explain whether a proposed pipeline reversal is part of a bigger plan to export crude, a concern expressed by environmental groups seeking a more thorough review of the project. [ID:nN1E79G1RX]

* Valeant Pharmaceuticals International (VRX.TO): The company said it now owns about 74 percent of Afexa Life Sciences Inc FXA.TO, and extended its offer for the Canadian cold and flu medicine maker by 10 days. [ID:nL3E7LI1P2].

* Sprott Resource Corp. SCP.TO: The company said it was exploring a sale of Waseca Energy Inc, a 81 percent owned oil subsidiary that has tripled the value of its oil and gas properties since the end of 2010. [ID:nN1E79H06L]

* Emerge Oil & Gas Inc. EME.TO: The exploration company cut its 2011 production forecast hurt by wet weather conditions and depleting resources, and it expects to drill fewer than expected wells this year.[ID:nL3E7LH3GS]

* Colabor Group Inc. GCL.TO: The wholesaler and distributor of food and non-food products posted a 72 percent rise in quarterly profit, helped by various acquisitions. [ID:nL3E7LI1Z0]

* Garda World Security Corp. GW.TO: The security services provider said a unit has acquired airport screening services provider Aeroguard for C$16 million in cash and shares. [ID:nL3E7LI218]

* Forbes & Manhattan Coal Corp. FMC.TO. The company’s second-quarter revenue jumped 80 percent sequentially on strong export sales. It reported revenue of C$35.2 million. [ID:nL3E7LI1Y1]

* Kingsway Financial Services Inc. (KFS.TO): The insurance company said it settled all its legal disputes with Pennsylvania Insurance Department. [ID:nL3E7LH3DW]

ANALYST RECOMMENDATIONS

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

* Great West Lifeco Inc (GWO.TO) price target cut to C$24 from C$26 at CIBC

* Industrial Alliance (IAG.TO) price target cut to C$38 from C$40 at CIBC

* Manulife Financial (MFC.TO) price target cut to C$15 from C$1 at CIBC

* Sun Life Financial (SLF.TO) price target cut to C$27 from C$31 at CIBC ($1= $1.02 Canadian) (Reporting By Chandra Ramarathnam)

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