April 4, 2012 / 12:47 PM / 6 years ago

CANADA STOCKS-TSX set for lower open on Fed comments, weaker oil

April 4 (Reuters) - Commodity prices are seen dragging Toronto stocks lower at the open on Wednesday, after the Federal Reserve toned down expectations for further stimulus, though stronger-than-expected U.S. ADP employment data helped offset some of the negative tone.

FACTORS TO WATCH

* Canadian equity futures pointed to a lower open.

* U.S. stock index futures slightly pared losses after ADP employment data showed private sector employment grew by 209,000 jobs, just above Wall Street expectations.

* Europe’s top shares fell as economic data out of Europe fueled recession fears and flagging demand for Spanish government bonds gave bearish investors the incentive to bank recent profits.

COMMODITY PRICE MOVES

* The Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB index, a global commodities benchmark, fell 0.96 percent in early trade.

* Oil prices dipped towards $124 a barrel on worries demand for crude could be curtailed after the U.S. central bank dashed hopes of further economic stimulus and news Saudi Arabia would likely keep output high in the event of a stock release.

* Gold prices fell 1 percent after minutes from the U.S. Federal Reserve’s March meeting suggested a fresh round of monetary stimulus was unlikely as the U.S. economy gradually improves, and as the dollar strengthened.

* Copper fell for a second day, retreating from near two-month highs, as the dollar rose and disappointment over the U.S. Federal Reserve’s retreat from another round of monetary stimulus seeped through financial markets.

CANADIAN STOCKS TO WATCH

* Air Canada : : Quebec’s attorney general said on Tuesday he had notified the airline of its legal obligation to keep a maintenance center operating in the province and would take legal action if he did not receive a satisfactory response from the company.

* IGM Financial Inc. : The asset manager posted a 7 percent decline in assets under management at the end of March.

* Lake Shore Gold Corp. : The gold miner said it halted production at its Timmins West mine in Ontario on Monday and Tuesday following an accident that resulted in the death of a worker.

* MDC Partners Inc. : The advertising holding company raised its 2012 revenue outlook, as the company won new businesses and formed a joint venture in Brazil.

ANALYST RECOMMENDATIONS

Following is a summary of research actions on Canadian companies reported by Reuters.

* Dollarama Inc. : Canaccord Genuity raises target to C$51 from C$47, rating buy

* Extorre Gold Mines : Macquarie cuts target to C$11 from C$11.50, rating outperform

* First Majestic Silver Corp. : CIBC cuts price target to C$20 from C$21

* Linamar Corp. : CIBC raises price target to C$24.50 from C$22

* Martinrea International Inc. : CIBC raises price target to C$14 from C$12

* Russel Metals Inc. : CIBC raises price target to C$25 from C$23

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