January 20, 2011 / 1:08 PM / 7 years ago

CANADA STOCKS- TSX may open low on slumping commodity prices

Jan 20 (Reuters) - Canadian stock futures pointed to a lower open on Thursday as slumping commodity prices would weigh on the resource heavy index.

FACTORS TO WATCH

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

* U.S. stock index futures fell after stronger-than-expected economic growth data from China heightened concerns the government may further tighten monetary policy [.N]

* European shares fell after data from China increased worries about further monetary tightening and its impact on growth, with miners and carmakers worst hit. [.EU]

* Cracks deepened in Asian equities, with markets set to post their worst daily performance in more than five months.

COMMODITY PRICE MOVES

* The Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB index .CRB, a global commodities benchmark, fell 0.36 percent in early trade.

* Oil prices slipped as concerns about Chinese inflation weighed on stock and commodity markets, while an unexpected build in U.S. crude supplies also helped pull prices lower. [O/R]

* Gold eased, following three days of gains, and ignored a recovery in the euro as investment demand waned, although Asian consumer buying prevented the price from sliding too far. [GOL/]

* Copper fell about 1 percent, down from the previous session’s record high, as Chinese data raised concerns the country would take further steps to tighten monetary policy and soften demand for metals. [MET/L]

CANADIAN STOCKS TO WATCH

* Intermap Technologies Corp. (IMP.TO): The company which makes high resolution 3D digital models of the earth’s surface on Thursday said it cut 30 percent more jobs at its North American and European offices to reduce operating expenses and manage cash burn. The company said it will pay severance costs of about $1 million on a payroll-by-payroll basis through 2011. The company expects net reduction on total expenses, after severance related costs, of about $4.1 million of personnel related expenses, on an annualized basis. [ID:nSGE70J09D]

* Wi-LAN Inc. WIN.TO: The patent licensing firm of the company said it signed a memorandum of understanding with Atheros Communications Inc to settle all lawsuits between it and the chip maker for an undisclosed amount. Wi-LAN said Atheros, which was acquired by Qualcomm Inc, would make a series of payments in exchange for a multi-year license to the company’s patent portfolio. [ID:nSGE70I0DU]

* Zargon Oil & Gas Ltd. ZAR.TO: The company said on Wednesday its fourth-quarter production declined 95 percent, hurt by late summer, adverse weather and delays in production, and cut its capital budget for 2011. For the fourth quarter, the company produced 5,437 barrels of oil per day and the average natural gas rate was 23.28 million cubic feet per day. The company cut its capital budget to C$55 million from C$65 million and also said it expects a decline in average natural gas production.[ID:nSGE70I0E2]

ANALYST RECOMMENDATIONS

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

* Great West (GWO.TO) target price raised to C$28 from C$27 at TD Newcrest

* International forest Products IFPa.TO cut to hold from buy on valuation at TD Newcrest

* Industrial alliance (IAG.TO) target price raised to C$37 from C$36 at TD Newcrest

* Manulife (MFC.TO) target price raised to C$18.50 from C$16.50 at TD Newcrest

* Nuloch Resources NLR.V cut to market perform from outperform at Raymond James

* SUN LIFE (SLF.TO) target price raised to C$34 from C$33 at TD Newcrest

* Trinidad Drilling (TDG.TO) target price raised to C$7 from C$5; rating hold at TD Newcrest

* Viterra Inc VT.TO target price raised to C$13.50 from C$11.50; rating buy at TD Newcrest

* Zargon Oil ZAR.TO target price cut to C$19 from C$19.50; rating hold at TD Newcrest

($1= $0.99 Canadian)

Reporting by Kishan Nair and Bangalore Newsroom

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