Jan 14 (Reuters) - Canadian stock futures pointed to a lower open on Friday led by falling commodity prices. Retail sales data will also be in focus today.
* Canadian equity futures <0#SXF:> pointed to a lower open.
* U.S. stock index futures were lower despite strong quarterly results from JPMorgan Chase as the Dow Industrials and S&P 500 looked to close out a seventh week of gains. [.N]
* European shares fell further by around midsession, with miners continuing their slide from this morning, when China raised interest rates for the seventh time since early 2010. [.EU]
* Asian stocks were mixed with Nikkei falling after a surprisingly weak settlement of options for January and a stronger yen against the dollar triggered profit-taking.
* The Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB index .CRB, a global commodities benchmark, fell 0.36 percent in early trade.
* Oil weakened after China lifted lenders’ reserve rate requirements by 50 basis points to tame inflation. [O/R]
* Gold fell in Europe after China’s central bank raised lenders’ reserve requirements by 50 basis points, with softer haven demand for the metal after solid bond sales by Portugal and Spain also weighing on prices. [GOL/]
* Copper edged lower as investors cut risk ahead of a slew of economic data from the world’s largest economy, the U.S., while markets shrugged off well-signposted tightening measures from top consumer China. [MET/L]
* Vitran Corp Inc. VTN.TO: The North American transportation company on Friday said it plans to buy the less-than-truckload business of Milan Express for an undisclosed amount to expand its presence in southern United States. Vitran, which has operations across Canada and the United States, said it expects the deal to immediately add to its earnings upon closing. The company said Milan Express had generated revenue of $70 million for the year ending Dec. 31. [ID:nSGE70D095]
* Baytex Energy Trust (BTE.TO) The company said on Friday it agreed to buy heavy oil assets in the Seal area of Northern Alberta and Lloydminster area of western Saskatchewan for C$156.5 million. Baytex raised its production outlook to 49,000 to 50,000 barrels of oil per day from its Dec.7 view of 47,000 bbl/d to 48,000 bbl/d while, keeping its capital budget for 2011 at C$325 million. [ID:nSGE70D05F]
* Baffinland Iron Mines BIM.TO: The company, whose control of a rich iron deposit in Canada’s Arctic has sparked a takeover battle, said on Thursday developing the project could cost C$740 million, with production starting in two years. The company released a feasibility study on the development of the mine site, known as Mary River, using trucks to haul ore to a port 100 kilometres away. [ID:nN13113610]
* Com Dev International Ltd. (CDV.TO): The satellite technology company on Thursday reported a fourth-quarter loss, hurt by a C$3 million restructuring charge, and said it expects to see its bottom line improve in 2011. [ID:nSGE70CBB7]
* Mullen Group Ltd (MTL.TO): The trucker on Thursday said it expects to double its annual dividend to a Canadian dollar in 2011 on higher crude prices and better economic recovery, and approved a C$50 million budget for the year. [ID:nSGE70CBBC]
Following is a summary of research actions on Canadian companies reported by Reuters. [RCH/CA]
* Alange Energy ALE.V rating cut to market perform from outperform at Raymond JameS
* Inmet Mining IMN.TO rating raised to strong buy from outperform at Raymond JameS
* Twin Butte Energy Ltd TBE.TO target price raised to C$3 from C$2.75; rating outperform at Raymond James
($1= $1.00 Canadian)
Reporting by Kishan Nair and Bangalore Newsroom