Feb 11 (Reuters) - Canadian stocks looked set to open lower on Friday, as political turmoil in the Middle East following Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak’s refusal to step down weighs on investor sentiment, though higher oil prices could lift energy shares.
* Canadian equity futures <0#SXF:> pointed to a lower open.
* The Canadian dollar hit a session high against its U.S. counterpart on Friday after trade data for December beat expectations, with the country returning to a trade surplus. [CAD/]
* U.S. stock index futures fell as uncertainty gripped markets following Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak’s refusal to step down after more than two weeks of civil protests throughout the country. [.N]
* European shares fell, extending the week’s declines for a fourth successive day, with uncertainty in Egypt worrying investors and phone maker Nokia NOK1V.HE dropping in reaction to the announcement of its new strategy and a tie-up with Microsoft. [.EU]
* Asian stocks fell more than a percent and were on course for their biggest weekly loss in nine months as investors shunned risk on concerns about the pace of policy tightening in the region.
* The Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB index .CRB, a global commodities benchmark, rose 0.14 percent in early trade.
* Brent oil prices rose above $101 a barrel after Egypt’s President Hosni Mubarak refused to step down, stoking fears that the rising tensions could disrupt oil flows or spread to major producers in the region. [O/R]
* Gold prices eased a touch, pressured by gains in the dollar and softer investment demand for the metal after a raft of well-received economic data boosted interest in other assets. [GOL/]
* Copper slipped, falling further from this week’s record high as a higher dollar and concerns about Chinese demand dented sentiment, while tin also fell from a peak hit earlier as supply concerns lingered.. [MET/L]
* Katanga Mining (KAT.TO): The company said on Friday that fourth-quarter earnings more than doubled, on the back of increased copper and cobalt production from its mines in the Democratic Republic of Congo. [ID:nN11136865]
* Orbit Garant Drilling Inc. (OGD.TO): The company on Thursday reported higher second-quarter profit, helped mostly by strong domestic surface drilling. [ID:nSGE7190DV]
* TMX Group (X.TO): The exchange operator said on Thursday it has taken a 50 percent stake in Australia’s PCF MinesOnline.com Ltd. [ID:nN10158639]
* Enbridge Inc. (ENB.TO): The pipeline company said on Thursday it had completed maintenance work on its Line 6B ahead of schedule and the line had reopened for oil shipment on Thursday morning. [ID:nN10106818]
* Envoy Capital Group Inc. ECG.TO: The merchant banking and financial services company said on Thursday it would restructure operations to cut costs and that its CEO and board had resigned. [ID:nSGE7190DP]
Following is a summary of research actions on Canadian companies reported by Reuters. [RCH/CA]
* Canaccord Financial Inc (CF.TO) price target raised to C$22 from C$17 at KBW
$1=$0.99 Canadian Reporting by Kishan Nair and Bangalore Newsroom; editing by Jeffrey Hodgson