April 14, 2011 / 12:53 PM / in 7 years

CANADA STOCKS-TSX may weaken on soft data, China inflation fear

April 14 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index looked set to open weaker on Thursday, with investor sentiment hurt by higher-than-expected U.S. jobless claims data and a report suggesting Chinese inflation will rise.

FACTORS TO WATCH

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

* S&P index futures added to their losses on Thursday after data showed an unexpected rise in weekly U.S. jobless claims. [.N]

* Hong Kong’s Phoenix TV, citing an unnamed source, said China’s annual rate of inflation in March was likely to be 5.3-5.4 percent, a 32-month high and just above an estimate in a Reuters poll. [ID:nL3E7FE0EO]

* European stocks dipped early, as worries over Chinese inflation and doubts about the earnings season kept investors on edge, but losses were limited as a main index managed to stay above a key support level. [.EU]

* Asian stocks were mixed with Japan’s Nikkei gaining but stayed in a narrow range.

COMMODITY PRICE MOVES

* The Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB index .CRB, a global commodities benchmark, fell 0.51 percent in early trade.

* U.S. crude fell more than $1 as concerns high prices would lead to demand destruction, coupled with a stronger dollar, weighed on oil. [O/R]

* Gold surrendered early gains to slip to session lows at $1,452.80 an ounce, hurt by a rebound in the dollar as speculation that some smaller euro zone economies would have to restructure their debts weighed on the euro. [GOL/]

* Copper fell as reports of quickening inflation in top consumer China signaled more monetary tightening and offset the positive impact of a weaker dollar. [MET/L]

CANADIAN STOCKS TO WATCH

* Iamgold (IMG.TO): Gold Fields, the world’s No.4 gold miner, said it would consider buying shares owned by Iamgold in its Western Africa operations if an offer was tabled. [ID:nLDE73D164]

* Onex Corp OCX.TO: The investment firm and its affiliates sold almost a third of their stake in aircraft parts maker Spirit Aerosystems, pocketing a gain of seven times their initial investment. [ID:nL3E7FD3EE]

* Corus Entertainment Inc CJRb.TO: The media company said its second-quarter profit more than doubled, helped by a boost in its advertising revenue and subscriber fee. [ID:nL3E7FE1LK]

* Niko Resources NKO.TO: The company and Britain’s Centrica will invest $70 million in three offshore exploration wells this year in Trinidad and Tobago, the Caribbean’s leading oil and natural gas producer, officials said on Wednesday. [ID:nN13158716]

* Tourmaline Oil Corp. TOU.TO: The company said production in the second quarter so far has already exceeded its estimates, as the oil and natural gas producer completed and brought two projects online. [ID:nL3E7FD3EK]

* Pacific Rubiales Energy Corp. PRE.TO: The oil and gas producer said it raised its credit facility by 40 percent to $350 million due to strong demand. Due to the interest generated among the lending syndicate, the amount of the facility, which was initially committed by the lenders in April last year, was increased, it said in a statement. [ID:nL3E7FD3F8]

* Gran Colombia Gold (GCM.TO): The gold miner said on Wednesday it had agreed to acquire slightly smaller rival Medoro Resources MRS.TO as the companies join forces in the Andean nation. [ID:nN13299772]

ANALYST RECOMMENDATIONS

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

* Shaw Communications Inc (SJRb.TO) price target cut to C$21 from C$22; rating neutral at UBS

* Ivernia Inc IVW.TO rating cut to speculative buy from buy, at Paradigm

$1= $0.96 Canadian Reporting by Karan Khemani; editing by Jeffrey Hodgson

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