Dec 5 (Reuters) - Toronto’s resource heavy stock main stock index looked set to open lower on Wednesday as commodity prices fell, hurt by profit-taking and generalized U.S. dollar strength.
* Canadian equity futures <0#SXF:> pointed to a lower open.
* U.S. stock index futures fell as commodity prices dropped for a second day, pressuring global equity markets. [.N]
* European shares were lower, hit by a retreat in commodity shares ahead of the release of U.S. private sector employment expected to highlight the pace of recovery in the jobs market. [.EU]
* Asian stocks were mixed with Nikkei falling 0.2 percent.
* The Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB index .CRB, a global commodities benchmark, fell 0.86 percent in early trade.
* Oil prices fell further from 27-month highs as a stronger dollar sapped investor risk appetite for commodities, despite signs of tighter oil supply fundamentals. [O/R]
* Gold steadied, a day after its largest sell-off in nearly two months, buoyed by consumer demand, which helped offset the potentially negative impact of the dollar extending gains after upbeat U.S. data. [GOL/]
* Copper fell two percent from a record in the prior session, as a firm dollar pressured prices and dulled investor appetite, while lead stockpiles hit their highest in more than 15 years. [MET/L]
* Research In Motion RIM.TO: QNX Software, the system the BlackBerry maker will use to power its PlayBook tablet and future BlackBerry smartphones, may outshine its parent this week as it touts vehicles with the productivity of an office. [ID:nN04244523]
* TransAlta Corp. (TA.TO): The publicly owned electricity producer said on Tuesday its Sundance 1 & 2 coal-fired generating stations in Alberta producing a combined 560 megawatts of electricity, will be shut until at least Feb. 15 while the company repairs the units’ boilers. [ID:nN04238445]
* Nordion Inc. NDN.TO: The health sciences company extended a contract with its primary customer, Lantheus Medical Imaging Inc, for the supply of Molybdenum-99, the most prominent isotope used in nuclear medicine, to 2013. [ID:nSGE70408X]
* H&R Real Estate Investment Trust (HR_u.TO): The REIT said it has agreed to buy properties in downtown Toronto for C$344.8 million. The company said the properties are 98 percent occupied and have an average lease term to expiry of 5 years. [ID:nSGE7030BL]
* High Liner Foods Inc. (HLF.TO): The frozen seafood processor made an unsolicited offer to buy privately held seafood company Icelandic Group for 170 million euros to strengthen its presence in the United States. [ID:nSGE7030BJ]
Following is a summary of research actions on Canadian companies reported by Reuters. [RCH/CA]
* Northern Property REIT NPR_u.TO rating cut to market perform from outperform on valuation at Raymond James
Reporting by Kishan Nair and Bangalore Newsroom; Editing by Jeffrey Hodgson