December 23, 2010 / 1:23 PM / 7 years ago

CANADA STOCKS- TSX To open slightly lower ahead of GDP

Dec 23 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index could open slightly lower despite rising commodity prices. Monthly Canadian GDP figures are due at 830 a.m. (1230 GMT).

FACTORS TO WATCH

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

* U.S. stock index futures pointed to a flat opening, a day after S&P 500 rose to its highest level since the collapse of Lehman Brothers. [.N]

* European shares were little changed after hitting a 27-month high for a fourth day, with stronger drugmakers on a jump in Novo Nordisk shares offsetting miners that tracked weaker metals. [.EU]

* Asian stocks were mostly down.

COMMODITY PRICE MOVES

* The Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB index .CRB, a global commodities benchmark, fell 0.26 percent in early trade.

* Oil prices held above $90 a barrel, close to their highest in two years after cold weather boosted demand and U.S. stockpiles shrank. [O/R]

* Gold held steady above $1,380 an ounce, but was set for its first weekly gain in three as worries over euro zone sovereign debt lent support. [GOL/]

* Copper fell 1 percent as end of year book-squaring and falling equities in top consumer China weighed on base metals. [MET/L]

CANADIAN STOCKS TO WATCH

* Nexen Inc. NXY.TO: The field operator said on Thursday oil output from the UK’s largest oilfield which helps to set a key price benchmark has been towards the higher end of earlier guidance in the fourth quarter. The company said in October fourth-quarter output from the Buzzard field in the North Sea would be about 70 percent to 90 percent of normal because of work to commission a fourth platform. [ID:nLDE6BM0UO]

* Royal Coal Corp. RDA.V: The coal exploration company plans to buy an 80 percent stake in a river-based coal loading terminal in eastern Kentucky for about $8.3 million, to move coal efficiently from its surface mines in the region to the market. The company said the purchase includes the equipment used to operate the river terminal, which has the capacity to load over 100,000 tons per month. [ID:nSGE6BL0BR] ($1= $1.01 Canadian) (Reporting by Karan Khemani and Bangalore Newsroom)

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