June 9 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index looked set to open little changed on Thursday, as slightly firmer commodity prices were offset by mixed Canadian and U.S. economic data.
The Canadian dollar pared early gains to trade flat after the country unexpectedly reported a trade deficit for April, compared with expectations of a small surplus. [CAD/]
* Canadian equity futures <0#SXF:> pointed to a slightly lower open.
* U.S. stock index futures added to gains after a brief dip on Thursday following the latest read on weekly initial claims for jobless benefits. [.N]
* European shares fell for a seventh straight day in a choppy session, with retailers under pressure on a grim consumer spending outlook and banks falling ahead of the European Central Bank’s monthly rate-setting decision. [.EU]
* Markets in Asia were down as investors cut exposure to risky assets on signs the global economy is losing steam.
* The Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB index .CRB, a global commodities benchmark, rose 0.25 percent in early trade.
* Oil prices rose, bolstered by concerns about supplies as investors assessed the impact of OPEC’s failure to agree a rise in output targets. [O/R]
* Gold held near $1,535 an ounce, little changed from the previous session, as traders took to the sidelines ahead of the European Central Bank meeting later in the day. [GOL/]
* Copper was softer as traders fretted about further signs of U.S. economic weakness, but prices were buttressed by expectations of higher demand from top consumer China. [MET/L]
* Viterra Inc VT.TO: The grain handler reported an 80 percent rise in net profit, bolstered by brisk South Australian crop shipments and high grain prices. [ID:nL3E7H91ME]
* Anvil Mining Ltd: AVM.TO The copper miner posted a quarterly profit helped by higher realized copper prices. [ID:nL3E7H91G7]
* TransCanada Corp. (TRP.TO): The company’s CEO said he is confident the U.S. State Department will stick to its year-end deadline for making a decision on approving the company’s $7 billion Keystone XL pipeline even though it has set up more public meetings. [ID:nN08269219]
* Transat AT Inc. TRZb.TO: The holiday travel operator reported a 39 percent rise in quarterly net profit, but said margins were pressured by fuel prices and the company said it expects results for the second half of the year to be weaker. [ID:nL3E7H91MJ]
* Logan International Inc. LII.TO: The provider of seismic and mapping services to companies in the energy industry posted a quarterly profit helped mainly by growth in its front-end seismic services segment. [ID:nL3E7H83BV]
Following is a summary of research actions on Canadian companies reported by Reuters. [RCH/CA]
* Etrion (ETX.TO) price target cut to C$1.10 from C$1.15; keeps outperform rating at National Bank Financial
* Fairfax Financial Holdings (FFH.TO) coverage started with sector performer rating; price target of C$450 at CIBC
* Transcontinental Inc (TCLa.TO) price target cut to C$18.50 from C$19; keeps outperform rating at National Bank Financial
$1= $0.97 Canadian Reporting by Kishan Nair; Editing by Jeffrey Hodgson