December 19, 2014 / 2:02 PM / in 3 years

CANADA STOCKS-TSX set to open higher as inflation eases

(Updates with inflation and retail sales data)

Dec 19 (Reuters) - Stock futures pointed to a higher start for Canada’s main stock index on Friday after data showed annual inflation rate cooled in November, aligning with Bank of Canada’s targeted level, as gasoline prices fell.

The annualized inflation rate eased to 2.0 percent in November from 2.4 percent in October, according to data released by Statistics Canada. Economists had expected 2.2 percent.

December futures on the S&P TSX index were up 0.29 percent at 8.45 a.m. ET.

Canadian retail sales were unchanged in October, holding at a record high as gains in most sectors were offset by declines at motor vehicle and parts dealers, data from Statistics Canada showed.

Canada’s main stock index rose on Thursday, with energy stocks bucking weak oil prices as investors returned to riskier assets after an upbeat assessment of the U.S. economy by the Federal Reserve.

Dow Jones Industrial Average e-mini futures were up 0.16 percent at 8.45 a.m. ET, while S&P 500 e-mini futures were up 0.06 percent and Nasdaq 100 e-mini futures were up 0.28 percent. (Morning News Call newsletter link.reuters.com/nex49s; The Day Ahead newsletter link.reuters.com/mex49s)

TOP STORIES

BlackBerry Ltd reported a bigger-than-expected drop in third-quarter revenue, sending shares of the struggling smartphone maker lower, even as it eked out a small adjusted profit and began generating cash flow again.

Barrick Gold Corp said on Thursday that it would suspend operations at its Lumwana copper mine in Zambia following the passage of legislation that raises the royalty rate on open-pit mining operations in the country to 20 percent from 6 percent.

COMMODITIES AT 8.45 a.m. ET

Gold futures : $1,197.70; +0.25 pct

US crude : $54.95; +1.55 pct

Brent crude : $60.14; +1.48 pct

LME 3-month copper : $6,384.50; +1.10 pct

ANALYST RESEARCH HIGHLIGHTS

Barrick Gold Corp : Canaccord Genuity cuts to “sell” from “hold”

Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd : BMO cuts target to C$250 from C$260

U.S. ECONOMIC DATA DUE ON FRIDAY

1030 ECRI Weekly Index: Prior 132.3

1030 ECRI Weekly Annualized: Prior -2.3 pct

1100 KC Fed Manufacturing for Dec: Expected 5: Prior 9

1100 KC Fed Composite Index for Dec: Prior 7

FOR CANADIAN MARKETS NEWS, CLICK ON CODES:

TSX market report

Canadian dollar and bonds report

Reuters global stocks poll for Canada

Canadian markets directory ($1= C$1.16) (Reporting by Abhinav Kaul and Samarendra Sahoo in Bengaluru; Editing by Kirti Pandey)

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