August 24, 2011 / 12:21 PM / 6 years ago

CANADA STOCKS-TSX may open lower on broad economic concerns

Aug 24 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index looked set to open lower on Wednesday after Moody’s downgraded Japan’s sovereign debt and concerns over the health of the global economy kept investors sensitive to risk.

FACTORS TO WATCH

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

* U.S. stock index futures were lower following a sharp rally on Tuesday. [.N]

* European markets were slightly higher, helped by hopes that the United States would launch a new round of economic stimulus. But mixed corporate results and a poor macroeconomic outlook weighed on sentiment. [.EU]

* Markets in Asia were down, with the Nikkei falling 1 percent after Moody’s downgrade spurred some foreign investors to take profits, erasing intraday gains. ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ 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, rose 0.04 percent in early trade.

* Oil was near $109 a barrel as supply disruptions balanced against demand worries, and caution stalled investors ahead of U.S. Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke’s speech at the end of the week. [O/R]

* Gold recovered after Tuesday’s steep correction, with investors wary of selling the metal ahead of news from this week’s central bank meeting in Jackson Hole and as a rebound in equities faded. [GOL/]

* Copper was steady within a tight range due to uncertainty over prospects for further monetary easing in the United States, while China’s demand prospects and a softer dollar lent support. [MET/L]

CANADIAN STOCKS TO WATCH

* Equitable Group ETC.TO: The mortgage lender said it has become aware of a suspected fraud related to loans of up to $14 million. [ID:nL4E7JN4CA]

* Afexa Life Sciences Inc. FXA.TO: The maker of the popular Cold-FX flu medicine, asked its shareholders to reject the unsolicited takeover by Paladin Labs Inc PLB.TO, saying the purchase price was inadequate. [ID:nL4E7JO0C3]

ANALYST RECOMMENDATIONS

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

* Bank of Montreal (BMO.TO) price target cut to C$65 from C$67, rating sector perform at National Bank; price target raised to C$65 from C$64, rating sector performer at CIBC

* Nevsun Resources NSU.TO price target raised to C$8.50 from C$7.50; rating sector performer at CIBC

* Rio Alto Mining RIO.V coverage started with sector outperformer rating and C$3.80 price target at CIBC ($1= $0.98 Canadian) (Reporting by Anil Kumar; editing by Janet Guttsman)

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