April 15, 2010 / 1:05 PM / in 8 years

CANADA STOCKS-TSX set to open lower on weak commodity prices

TORONTO, April 15 (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index looked set to open lower on Thursday, after closing at its highest level in nearly 19 months the day before, as commodity prices were drifting lower on a firmer U.S. dollar.

The Canadian dollar rallied against the greenback in the earlier session to close above parity for the first time since May 2008. [CAD/]

U.S. markets will be the focus with no economic data on the calendar. Wall Street is set to open lower on Thursday as some investors second-guess the extent of a rally that has taken the key S&P 500 index above 1,200. [.N]

Earnings from major companies such as Google (GOOG.O), Advance Micro Devices AMD.N and PPG Industries (PPG.N) are expected to please the market.

European stocks edged higher, with drugmakers rising after sales at Roche beat forecasts, though gains were capped by weaker mining stocks and concerns about Greece.

Most Asian stocks were up, buoyed by robust growth figures from China, but also gave rise to concerns over tighter monetary policy in the future.

Here is some news that could affect stock prices:

OIL HELD BY DOLLAR, CHINA

Oil prices hovered below $86 a barrel as strength in the dollar tempered an early rally after news of surging growth in the world’s number two oil consumer China. [O/R]

DOLLAR PRESURES GOLD

Gold eased in Europe pressured by dollar strength as a widening of Greek-German yield spreads dented the euro, but strong chart based support helped prices to stay above $1,150 per ounce. [GOL/]

COPPER

Copper dipped weighed by a stronger dollar and concerns China might move to tighten monetary policy to head off possible overheating in its economy after robust growth data. [MET/L]

ROGERS GETS iPAD

Rogers Communications Inc (RCIb.TO) said on Wednesday that it will begin offering Apple Inc’s (AAPL.O) popular iPad tablet computer in Canada by the end of May. [ID:nN14197143]

BOMBARDIER JET ORDERS

Bombardier Inc (BBDb.TO) on Wednesday received an order worth US$120 million from Pluna of Uruguay, for three Bombardier CRJ900 next-generation jetliners. [ID:nWNAB8604]

ITHICA WELL STRONG

Oil explorer Ithaca Energy IAE.TO. on Thursday said an appraisal well in the North Sea had found more oil than expected, boosting the company’s total oil reserves. Ithaca said it would now perform further tests on the reservoir before beginning the development of Stella, with first oil and gas production anticipated in 2012. [ID:nLDE63E195]

ALAMOS PRODUCTION FALLS

Alamos Gold Inc (AGI.TO) said its quarterly gold production fell 10 percent from a year ago, but was in line with its annual production outlook. [ID:nSGE63E0D4]

ARISE TECH FORECAST

Solar technology company Arise Technologies Corp APV.TO on Wednesday forecast a more than two-fold jump in first-quarter revenue on increased demand for photovoltaic cells. The company expects its first-quarter revenue to grow $15.8 million from $7.2 million a year ago. [ID:nSGE63D0EL]

NO GREECE DEFAULT

There is no possibility that Greece will default on its debts, the European Union’s Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn told a conference on Thursday. [ID:nBRU010746]

CANADA OPPOSES BANK LEVY

Canada toughened its stance on Wednesday against a proposed global levy on banks designed to ensure they help pay the costs of future financial crises, and suggested it might have allies within the G20 that could help it block an agreement on the issue. [ID:nN14167210]

STRIKE CUTS GABON‘S OUTPUT

A strike by Gabon’s main oil industry trade union over labour regulations has cut oil production from the country by at least 60 percent, the union said on Thursday. [ID:nLDE63E153]

RESEARCH ROUNDUP

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

* Raymond James cuts Canadian National Railway (CNR.TO) to market perform from outperform.

* Raymond James raises price target on Canadian Pacific Railway (CP.TO) to C$68 from C$65

* Canaccord Adams raises Nal Oil & Gas Trust NAE_u.TO to buy from hold. (Reporting by Bangalore newsroom, editing by Savio D‘Souza and Jeffrey Hodgson)

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