March 6, 2009 / 1:21 PM / in 9 years

CANADA STOCKS-TSX could bounce after big drop

TORONTO, March 6 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index could open higher on Friday, supported by firmness in the price of oil and as investors hunt for bargains following a sharp drop in the previous session.

But the resource-laden index could be weighed down by key U.S. jobs data that is expected to show big losses in February. U.S. stock index futures pointed to a lower open. [ID:nN06505202]

On Thursday, the S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed down 185.58 points, or 2.37 percent, at 7,629.17 to touch its lowest closing level in five years as nagging concerns about the global economic outlook hit financials and energy shares.

Here is some news that could affect the market:

US JOBS REPORT

Economists expect the data to show the United States, rattled by recession, lost 648,000 jobs in February, pushing the unemployment rate to a 25-year high. The February nonfarm payrolls report is due to be released at 8:30 a.m. (1330 EST). [ID:nN04539340]

LINAMAR CORP LNR.TO

Auto parts maker Linamar Corp reported a quarterly loss on Thursday as volumes at U.S. automakers fell sharply, hammering the company’s revenue. The company also declared a dividend of 3 Canadian cents a share, half of what it declared for the third quarter of 2008. [ID:nN05355188]

OIL RISES

Oil CLc1 rose to around $44 a barrel ahead of the U.S. jobs data, after sinking in the previous session, gaining support from a weaker dollar and meeting of OPEC later this month. [ID:nSP482596]

GOLD, BASE METALS

Gold rose in Europe on Friday, building on the previous session’s near 3 percent gains as Wall Street’s slide to 12-year lows curbed appetite for equities and the dollar tumbled ahead of the U.S. jobs data. [ID:nL1449620] Base metals were higher. [ID:nL6515038]

NOVA CHEMICALS CORP NCX.TO

Nova Chemicals Corp said on Thursday it has not formally canceled plans to lay off 400 workers, but a large number of those cuts will be reviewed after the firm’s takeover by Abu Dhabi’s International Petroleum Investment Co closes. [ID:nN05352573]

CANADIAN SUPERIOR ENERGY INC SNG.TO

Canadian Superior Energy Inc sought court protection from creditors on Thursday, sending its shares sharply lower. [ID:nN05341284]

AUTO INDUSTRY

General Motors of Canada’s GM.N bid for government aid is being reviewed after auditors for the U.S. parent said they doubted the company’s ability to survive outside bankruptcy, Canadian officials said on Thursday. [ID:nN05335162]

CANADIAN RESEARCH

Genuity cuts HudBay Minerals HBM.TO price target to C$6 from C$6.40, RBC raises Gabriel Resources GBU.TO price target to C$2.30 from C$1.70. For more research see: [CA-RCH] ($1=$1.28 Canadian) (Reporting by Jennifer Kwan; Editing by James Dalgleish)

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