March 8 (Reuters) - Canadian stock futures were little changed on Wednesday as investors awaited February's housing market data. March futures on the S&P TSX index were down 0.07 percent at 7:15 a.m. ET. Data on housing starts for February will be released at 8:15 a.m. ET, followed by January building permits and labor productivity data for the fourth quarter, due at 8:30 a.m. ET Housing starts for last month are forecast to dip only slightly to 200,000 from 207,400, suggesting that activity in the country's housing market is not slowing just yet. The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index closed down 0.13 percent at 15,608.78 on Tuesday as lower commodity prices weighed on mining and energy shares, while the industrial and financial services groups also lost ground. Dow Jones Industrial Average e-mini futures were down 0.04 percent at 7:15 a.m. ET, while S&P 500 e-mini futures were down 0.04 percent and Nasdaq 100 e-mini futures were down 0.02 percent. (Morning News Call newsletter here ; The Day Ahead newsletter here) TOP STORIES Canada posted a third consecutive monthly trade surplus in January, the first such stretch since 2014, in another signal that the economy is gaining momentum after slumping for more than two years due to low oil prices. David Baazov, who is facing insider trading charges stemming from his time as chief executive officer of Amaya Inc , said on Tuesday that he pocketed C$133 million from the sale of close to 30 percent of the shares he held in the online gambling company. ANALYST RESEARCH HIGHLIGHTS Agellan Commercial REIT : CIBC raises target price to C$11.75 from C$11 Bellatrix Exploration : Canaccord Genuity raises rating to "speculative buy" from "hold" Brookfield Renewable Partners LP : CIBC raises target price to C$45 from C$44 COMMODITIES AT 7:15 a.m. ET Gold futures : $1212.2; -0.24 percent US crude : $52.57; -1.07 percent Brent crude : $55.34; -1.02 percent LME 3-month copper : $5795; +0.4 percent U.S. ECONOMIC DATA DUE ON WEDNESDAY 08:15 ADP national employment for Feb: Expected 190,000; Prior 246,000 08:30 Labor costs revised for Q4: Expected 1.6 pct; Prior 1.7 pct 08:30 Productivity revised for Q4: Expected 1.5 pct; Prior 1.3 pct 10:00 Wholesale inventory, R mm for Jan: Expected -0.1 pct; Prior -0.1 pct 10:00 Wholesale sales mm for Jan: Expected 0.5 pct; Prior 2.6 pct 11:00 TR IPSOS PCSI for Mar: Prior 59.90 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$1.34) (Reporting by Nayyar Rasheed in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)
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