February 22, 2012 / 1:37 PM / in 6 years

CANADA STOCKS-TSX may open lower on weak European, Chinese data

Feb 22 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index was set for a slightly lower open on Wednesday, tracking global markets, as weak economic data from Europe and China stoked fears about global growth.

FACTORS TO WATCH

* Canadian equity futures pointed to a slightly lower open.

* U.S. stock index futures slipped, indicating the S&P 500 may snap a three-day winning streak after weaker-than-expected euro zone data and ahead of a report on the U.S. housing market.

* European share prices slipped further from their recent seven-month high as downbeat economic data from the euro zone fuelled worries about recession, and concern continued about Greece even after it secured a bailout.

COMMODITY PRICE MOVES

* The Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB index, a global commodities benchmark, fell 0.22 percent in early trade.

* Oil eased slightly from a nine-month high as weak economic data in Europe and China cast doubt on the outlook for global growth and prospects for fuel demand.

* Gold prices retreated from an earlier two-week high in Europe as persistent concerns over Europe’s finances hurt the euro and weighed on stock markets, while supply upsets in major producer South Africa lifted platinum to a five-month high.

* Copper prices fell, reversing the previous session’s sharp gains, with confidence rattled by weak export data from top consumer China and doubt over Greece’s ability to implement tough reforms aimed at cutting its debt.

CANADIAN STOCKS TO WATCH

* Rogers Communications : The wireless telecommunication company posted a 2.8 percent rise in its fourth-quarter operating profit, driven by growth in both its cable and wireless businesses.

* Sears Canada Inc. : The retailer posted a lower fourth-quarter profit as sales at its established stores fell.

* Chorus Aviation’s : The company’s bigger and more diversified fleet will help it defend its turf against WestJet Airline’s planned regional airline in Canada, Chorus’s CEO said on Tuesday.

* Connacher Oil and Gas Ltd. : The company brought back Peter Sametz as interim CEO, just weeks after he was fired as chief operating officer by the former CEO.

ANALYST RECOMMENDATIONS

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

* Anderson Energy : National Bank Financial cuts to underperform from sector perform

* Chorus Aviation : TD Securities cuts to buy from action list buy

* Fortis Inc : CIBC raises price target to C$35.50 from C$35

* Gran Tierra Energy Inc : CIBC cuts price target to C$6.90 from C$7

* Interfor : RBC raises price target to C$6 from C$5.50, rating outperform

* Novadaq Technologies : TD Securities raises price target to C$5.50 from C$4

* Orvana Minerals : Stonecap cuts price target to C$2.25 from C$2.40

* Quadra FNX Mining Ltd : CIBC cuts to sector underperformer from sector performer

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