August 11, 2011 / 12:57 PM / 8 years ago

CANADA STOCKS-TSX may open lower, hurt by soft commodity prices

 (Adds Manulife results)
 Aug 11 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock market index was set to open lower on Thursday, with easing gold and oil prices and weaker European equities expected to further weigh on investor sentiment.
 * Canadian equity futures <0#SXF:> pointed to a lower open.
 * U.S. stock futures pared losses after data showed initial claims for jobless benefits fell to a four-month low last week and were slightly better than expected. [.N]
 * Sharp declines in French bank shares dragged the financial sector and European shares lower, with traders citing growing concern about the outlook for French lenders. [.EU]
 * Markets in Asia were largely lower, with the Nikkei resumed falling following a rebound the day before, after rumors about the health of French banks reignited concerns over the euro zone’s debt crisis. ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ To receive an early e-mail of Reuters Morning News Call - Canada — a preview of market moving news — Thomson Reuters subscribers can register at [CA/MNC] ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
 * The Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB index .CRB, a global commodities benchmark, fell 0.54 percent in early trade.
 * Brent crude fell below $106 a barrel, erasing earlier dollar-fuelled gains, on investor concerns that the European debt crisis could spill over to France and harm global economic growth. [O/R]
 * Gold prices slipped more than 1 percent from record highs as a move by CME Group to hike margins for trading COMEX gold futures prompted some investors to cash in gains after an early rally. [GOL/]
 * Copper prices rose, regaining a semblance of poise as financial markets stabilized, fears of economic meltdown receded and an appreciation of China’s currency suggested it was confident about its growth prospects. [MET/L]
 * Manulife Financial Corp (MFC.TO) earned C$490 million ($490 million) in the second quarter, topping estimates and rebounding from a year-earlier loss, as the insurer cut losses associated with weak financial markets. [ID:nN1E77914S]
 * Kinross Gold (K.TO): The gold miner more than doubled its quarterly profit and raised its dividend payout on Wednesday, as surging bullion prices and acquisition-related production growth helped boost results. [ID:nN1E7791QJ]
 * Iamgold Corp. (IMG.TO): The miner said on Wednesday its second-quarter operating profit more than tripled, driven by a higher gold price and increased output. [ID: nN1E77921A]
 * Open Text OTC.TO: The business software company, posted a 12 percent rise in quarterly adjusted profit on Wednesday and said recent acquisitions would help its global growth. [ID:nN1E7791HI]
 * Semafo Inc. (SMF.TO): posted a higher second-quarter profit as soaring gold prices offset lower gold production. [ID:nL3E7JA4S4]
 * Aurizon Mines Ltd. ARZ.TO: The gold miner’s second-quarter profit rose 17 percent helped by surging gold prices and higher output at Casa Berardi, its key producing mine in Quebec. [ID:nL4E7JB01B]
 * SouthGobi Resources Ltd. (SGQ.TO): The coal miner posted a higher quarterly net profit, driven mainly by a rise in average realized coal prices. [ID:nL3E7JA4XX]
 * North American Palladium Ltd. (PDL.TO): The precious metals company reported a second-quarter profit helped by a 69-percent rise in quarterly palladium production at the company’s flagship mine in Quebec and maintained its full year palladium production forecast. [ID:nL3E7JA576]
 * Atrium Innovations ATB.TO: The dietary supplement-maker posted a rise in its quarterly profit, helped mainly by strong demand for its products. [ID:nL3E7JA4T9]
 * Birchcliff Energy Ltd. (BIR.TO): The company’s second-quarter earnings nearly doubled as it cashed in on higher production and lower operating costs, and it backed its full-year production outlook. [ID:nL3E7JA4UK]
 * Miranda Technologies MT.TO: The technology provider’s second-quarter net income remained unchanged, but beat estimates, as the television broadcast technology provider’s sales growth was offset by higher costs. [ID:nSGE77A00X]
 * Cineplex Inc. (CGX.TO): The company reported a 40 percent drop in second-quarter profit, hurt by one-time charges and higher income tax expense. [ID:nSGE77A01S]
 Following is a summary of research actions on Canadian companies reported by Reuters. [RCH/CA]
 * Extendicare REIT EXE_u.TO price target cut to C$8.75 from C$10 at RBC
 * Genivar Inc GNV.TO price target cut to C$30 from C$34 at Stonecap
 * Pure Technologies Ltd PUR.TO price target cut to C$4.50 from C$5 at Stonecap
 ($1= $1.00 Canadian)  (Reporting by Karan Khemani; Editing by Jeffrey Hodgson)                  

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