April 1 (Reuters) - Toronto’s resource-heavy main stock index looked set to open higher on Friday, extending gains from previous session, led by rising oil prices and U.S. data showing a second straight month of solid job gains.
* Canadian equity futures <0#SXF:> pointed to a higher open.
* U.S. stock index futures rose as U.S. employment recorded a second straight month of solid gains and the jobless rate fell to a two-year low. [.N]
* European shares bounced back on hopes strong U.S. jobs data will signal a recovery in the labor market and show the economic recovery was gathering pace, though equities faced some technical resistance levels. [.EU]
* Asian shares outside Japan rose to their highest in nearly three years, looking to extend a three-quarter winning streak, while the yen slipped on the view Japanese interest rates will stay near zero for a long time to help the quake-ravaged economy.
* The Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB index .CRB, a global commodities benchmark, fell 0.4 percent in early trade.
* U.S. and Brent crude futures prices initially pared gains on Friday in choppy trading after a report showed more nonfarm payrolls jobs and more private sector jobs were added in March than had been expected. [O/R]
* Gold extended losses on Friday to fall 1 percent to a session low at $1,419.60 an ounce after U.S. non-farm payrolls data for March beat expectations. [GOL/]
* Copper trimmed losses on Friday after upbeat U.S. jobs data lifted sentiment towards the health of the world’s biggest economy. [MET/L]
* Maple Leaf Foods Inc. (MFI.TO): The food processor said it will sell its Berwick, Nova Scotia facility to Eden Valley Poultry, a new company which is owned by United Poultry Producers Inc and Maple Lodge Holding Corp. [ID:nL3E7F11TF]
* HudBay Minerals (HBM.TO): The company said on Thursday it has more than tripled the size of its copper reserves, largely driven by the acquisition of the Constancia copper project in Peru. [ID:nN31250460]
* Artis Real Investment Trust AX_u.TO: The REIT said it acquired three properties in Minnesota and the Greater Toronto Area in Ontario for about $104.3 million. [ID:nL3E7EV42Q ]
* Ram Power Corp. RPG.TO: The geothermal company reported a narrower quarterly loss as expenses fell nearly 27 percent. [ID:nL3E7F11WT]
* WebTech Wireless Inc. WEW.TO: The provider of vehicle-tracking systems, said it expects to cut a fifth of its workforce as it completes restructuring at one of its units. [ID:nL3E7F11KQ]
* Exfo Inc. (EXF.TO): The company posted quarterly results below market estimates, and forecast lower-than-expected third-quarter results, following a sequential decline in bookings. [ID:nL3E7EV3TL]
Following is a summary of research actions on Canadian companies reported by Reuters. [RCH/CA]
* Azure Dynamics AZD.TO price target raised to C$0.45 from C$0.40; rating outperform at National Bank
* CGI Group (GIBa.TO) rating started with outperform; target price of C$26 at National Bank
* Serica Energy Plc SQZ.TO price target cut to C$0.60 from C$0.75; rating sector perform at RBC
$1= $0.96 Canadian Reporting by Kishan Nair; editing by Jeffrey Hodgson