March 6, 2012 / 1:17 PM / 6 years ago

CANADA STOCKS-TSX to extend loss as economic worries weigh

March 6 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index looked set to open lower on Tuesday, extending Monday’s lossesas renewed worries over the prospect of a recession in Europe and a slowdown in growth in resource-hungry China rattled investors.

A disorderly Greek default could leave Italy and Spain needing outside help to stop contagion spreading and cause more than 1 trillion euros of damage to the euro zone, a group representing Athens’ bondholders warned.

FACTORS TO WATCH

* Canadian equity futures pointed to a lower open.

* U.S. stock index futures fell on renewed concerns that Greece and private bondholders would not meet a Thursday deadline to complete a debt swap, potentially opening the way for a messy default.

* European shares hit a one-week low morning as fresh concerns about growth in Europe and China, the world’s top metals consumer, prompted investors to cut their risk exposure.

COMMODITY PRICE MOVES

* The Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB index, a global commodities benchmark, fell 0.45 percent in early trade.

* Brent crude futures fell more than $1 on concern about the health of the global economy.

* Gold prices fell more than 1 percent in Europe, pushing through support at $1,690 an ounce, as jitters over whether private creditors will agree to a Greek bond swap deal and wider euro zone growth pressured the euro.

* Copper fell for a third straight day, pulled lower by a stronger dollar and concerns about slower growth in China.

CANADIAN STOCKS TO WATCH

* Bank of Nova Scotia : The bank’s first-quarter profit rose 15 percent, mainly helped by stronger trading revenue, and the bank raised its dividend.

* Centamin : The miner said it has temporarily halted operations at its flagship Sukari gold mine due to “illegal labour unrest”.

* Bellatrix Exploration Ltd. : The oil and gas company said natural gas volumes that were shut-in in west central Alberta were back in production after it completed expanding its infrastructure in the region.

* Aecon Group Inc. : The construction company reported a 143 percent rise in quarterly earnings as margins improved on lower costs.

* Major Drilling Group International : The metals and minerals contract drilling services company reported a jump in third-quarter profit on continued demand from gold and copper projects.

ANALYST RECOMMENDATIONS

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

* Adriana Resources : National Bank Financial starts with outperform

* National Bank of Canada : CIBC raises price target to C$83 from C$80; BMO raises price target to C$87 from C$82; TD Securities raises price target to C$85 from C$81; Macquarie raises target price to C$85 from C$83

* Primaris Retail : Canaccord Genuity raises price target to C$24 from C$23.25; Macquarie raises price target to C$23.50 from C$22.50; TD securities raises price target to C$25 from C$24, rating buy

* Surge Energy : CIBC raises price target to C$13.50 from C$11; BMO raises price target to C$13 from C$12.50, rating outperform; Macquarie raises price target to C$14 from C$13, rating outperform

* Strad Energy Services : Paradigm capital raises price target to C$9 from C$7

* TransAlta Corp. : Canaccord Genuity cuts price target to c$23 from C$25; National Bank Financial cuts price target by C$1 to C$19; RBC cuts price target to C$19 from C$20; TD Securites cuts price target to C$19 from C$20, rating hold

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