July 30 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index could open lower on Friday as commodity prices slipped and investors fretted about the health of the U.S. economy.
Canadian equity futures pointed to a lower open. <0#SXF:>. The Reuters-Jefferies CRB index .CRB, a global commodities benchmark, was down 0.17 percent in early trade.
Economic data on Friday morning showed growth in Canada edged up 0.1 percent in May, in line with expectations, after unexpectedly stalling in April.
Second-quarter growth in the United States slowed slightly more than economists had forecast, according a preliminary GDP estimate on Friday. That could exacerbate worries about the strength of the recovery in Canada’s biggest trading partner.
As a consequence, Wall Street is also set for a lower start [.N]. European shares slipped with construction and materials issues among the biggest losers. Asian stocks dropped on profit-taking
Here is some news that could affect stock prices:
Oil slipped on Friday, heading for a fourth consecutive weekly settlement within the $75-$80 range, as investors focused on a slowing economy and rising inventories in top consumer the United States. [O/R]
Copper slipped on Friday, dragged down by falling equities and as investors await key U.S. data, which is expected to give more clues about the health of the major metals consumer. [MET/L]
Gold gained on Friday as jewelers across Asia replenished stocks and other physical buyers snapped up bullion ahead of U.S. second quarter GDP data that will offer clues on the direction of the economy. [GOL/]
The Canadian dollar gained against its U.S. counterpart on Friday morning as U.S. stock index futures fell and the greenback weakened on worries U.S. growth may show the world’s biggest economy is losing steam. [CAD/]
Canadian stocks to watch include:
Brookfield Properties, one of Manhattan’s biggest landlords, reported a 70 percent rise in quarterly funds from operations, and said it plans to transform itself into a pure-play office property company. [ID:nSGE66T0V8]
CENTERRA GOLD (CG.TO)
Centerra Gold reported a quarterly profit on Friday, as increased production and a strong gold price helped the company overturn a year-earlier loss, when results were hurt by lower gold recoveries and increased costs. [ID:nN30251468]
FAIRFAX FINANCIAL HOLDINGS LTD (FFH.TO)
The insurer said on Thursday its second-quarter profit rose 18 percent, easily topping expectations on the back of hefty investment gains. [ID:nN28235170]
The forestry firm on Friday posted a lower quarterly profit, hurt by a loss on the sale of its wood business, and said it expects third-quarter paper shipments to be flat sequentially. [ID:nSGE66B0IQ]
The Canadian paper maker posted a wider second-quarter net loss, hurt by impairment and closure costs, and said it expects pulp prices to soften in the third quarter. [ID:nSGE66T0VD]
CANFOR CORP (CFP.TO)
The Canadian forest products company posted quarterly profit above analysts’ estimates, but expects mortgage delinquencies, home foreclosures and a weak employment market to continue to hit U.S. housing recovery. [ID:nSGE66S0OM]
CANADIAN OIL SANDS TRUST COS_u.TO
The largest partner in the Syncrude Canada Ltd oil sands project said on Thursday that previously undisclosed outages at the plant this month had forced it to cut its production target by 4 percent. [ID:nN29217671]
SUN LIFE FINANCIAL (SLF.TO)
Sun Life Financial expects premium growth at its China insurance venture to more than double this year, a senior executive said, after receiving approval to turn the company into a Chinese-owned entity. [ID:nTOE66T08W]
The company posted better-than-expected quarterly results, helped by higher demand for its machine-to-machine communications products, and forecast a strong third quarter. [ID:nSGE66S0O7]
HYDROGENICS CORP (HYG.TO)
The Canadian fuel-cell maker on Friday posted a narrower quarterly loss, primarily helped by reduced operating expenses. [ID:nSGE66T0X4]
Following is a summary of research actions on Canadian companies reported by Reuters. [RCH/CA]
Note: All values in RESEARCH ROUNDUP in Canadian currency, unless otherwise stated.
* MDA MDA.TO price target raised to $57 from $54; rating top pick at RBC
* Bonavista Energy Trust BNP_u.TO price target raised to $26 from $25; rating sector perform at RBC
* Altagas Ltd. (ALA.TO) price target raised to $20 from $19; rating sector perform at RBC
Reporting by Bangalore newsroom, editing by Bhaswati Mukhopadhyay and Frank McGurty