May 5, 2011 / 12:53 PM / 7 years ago

CANADA STOCKS-TSX may open lower as commodities drop

May 5 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index looked set to open lower on Thursday, with a plunge in commodity prices likely to hit the resource-heavy market.

FACTORS TO WATCH

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

* U.S. stock index futures extended losses on Thursday after initial jobless claims rose more than expected. [.N]

* European shares hit a two-week low as banks fell following disappointing earnings news, with Lloyds (LLOY.L) slipping on a surprise $5.3 billion provision and Societe Generale (SOGN.PA) missing profit forecasts. [.EU]

COMMODITY PRICE MOVES

* The Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB index .CRB, a global commodities benchmark, fell 1.44 percent in early trade.

* Brent crude fell by more than $3 to below $118 a barrel, as fund managers and traders pulled money from across the commodities sector as concerns about interest rate rises and demand destruction began to bite. [O/R]

* Silver prices tumbled five percent to their lowest since April 1 as investors pulled their money out of the precious metal after its surge last week. [GOL/]

* Copper fell to its lowest since December after data pointed to weakening demand in the United States and China, and on prospects the European Central Bank will remain firm in its inflation fight. [MET/L]

CANADIAN STOCKS TO WATCH

* Penn West Petroleum Ltd. PWT.TO: The company posted a nearly three-fold rise in its first-quarter profit, helped by higher light oil and natural gas liquids prices. [ID:nL3E7G5225]

* Air Canada Inc. ACa.TO ACb.TO: The carrier reported a narrower operating loss. [ID:nL3E7G51VS]

* Alamos Gold Inc. (AGI.TO): The miner posted a 15 percent rise in its first quarter profit, but cut its full-year production forecast. [ID:nL3E7G51WL]

* Lake Shore Gold Corp LSG.TO: The miner said it would acquire the Fenn-Gib gold project from Barrick Gold (ABX.TO) for C$60 million in stock as part of its plans to double the size of its gold resource. [ID:nL3E7G51W6]

* Sun Life Financial (SLF.TO): The insurer, said on Wednesday its quarterly profit rose 5.8 percent, helped by a strong North American equity market performance that gave a boost to its investments. [ID:nN04199310]

ANALYST RECOMMENDATIONS

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

* Alange Energy Corp ALE.V rating cut to sector underperformer from sector performer; price target cut to C$0.20 from C$0.35 at CIBC

* Cott Corp (BCB.TO) rating cut to sector performer from sector outperformer; price target cut to C$10 from C$11 at CIBC

* Genworth MI Canada (MIC.TO) rating cut to sector perform from outperform at National Bank Financial

* Imperial Metals Corp (III.TO) coverage started with a sector outperformer rating; C$36 price target at CIBC

* Torstar Corp (TSb.TO) rating raised to outperform from sector perform at National Bank Financial

* Yamana Gold Inc (YRI.TO) rating raised to sector performer from sector underperformer at CIBC

$1= $0.97 Canadian Reporting by Shrutee Sarkar; editing by Jeffrey Hodgson

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