Feb 8 (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index futures pointed to a slightly lower open on Friday, despite encouraging Chinese trade data that set the scene for economic recovery. Canadian jobs and housing data both came in weaker than expected.
* After two months of hefty gains Canada’s economy unexpectedly shed 21,900 jobs in January, almost entirely in full-time work, according to Statistics Canada data released on Friday.
* Canadian housing starts plunged in January as both single and multiple starts fell, particularly in Ontario, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp said in a report that showed the housing market was even weaker than expected.
* China’s exports and imports surged and new lending soared in January as the first hard data of the year signalled both a solid recovery in domestic and overseas demand, and the risk that inflationary pressures are building.
* European Union leaders agreed the framework of a new long-term budget after 15 hours of negotiation, laying the ground for 960 billion euros of spending on agriculture, aid and scientific research in the years ahead.
* Credit rating agency Moody’s Corp, which could face a federal lawsuit tied to pre-crisis ratings, reported a 66 percent jump in quarterly profit as it benefited from a wave of debt issues.
* Canada stock futures traded down 0.04 percent
* U.S. stock futures , , were mixed in the range of -0.09 percent to 0.22 percent
* European shares, were up
* Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB Index : 302.0176; rose 0.19 percent
* Gold futures : $1,668.8; fell 0.1 percent
* US crude : $95.98; rose 0.16 percent
* Brent crude : $118.12; rose 0.75 percent
* LME 3-month copper : $8,235.25; rose 0.58 percent
* Aurizon Mines Ltd : The gold miner said it was in talks with a number of potential buyers, after rejecting an unsolicited C$780 million offer from Alamos Gold Inc last month.
* Oncolytics Biotech Inc : The company said a mid-stage trial of its experimental lung cancer drug showed that 95 percent of the patients experienced a reduction in the size of their tumors.
Following is a summary of research actions on Canadian companies reported by Reuters.
* Manulife Financial Corp : CIBC raises to sector outperformer from sector performer after the company reported higher-than-expected fourth-quarter results driven by higher new business strain and higher hedging costs
* Fortis Inc : CIBC cuts price target to C$35.50 from C$36 after the company reported disappointing fourth-quarter results due to corporate expenses and lower FortisBC Energy earnings
* Cineplex Inc : CIBC raises target price to C$35 from C$32 citing its strong fourth-quarter results, its core business strength and solid management
* Shoppers Drug Mart Corp : National Bank Financial ups target price to C$44 from C$43 and CIBC raises target price to C$45 from C$44 on the company’s fourth-quarter results and its positive 2013 outlook
* Teck Resources Ltd. : National Bank Financial cuts to underperform from sector perform and CIBC cuts target price to C$48 from C$50 on rising coal costs, lower copper production and concerns of a potential M&A
* Major Canadian economic data includes employment change and international trade
* Major U.S. events and data includes international trade and wholesale inventories