February 4, 2016 / 12:21 PM / in 2 years

CANADA STOCKS-Lower oil prices weigh on futures

Feb 4 (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index looked set to open moderately lower on Thursday as Brent crude prices turned lower, pressured by scepticism that Venezuela’s efforts to lobby crude producers for output cuts would succeed.

March futures on the S&P TSX index were down 0.04 percent at 7:15 a.m. ET.

No major economic events are scheduled for the day.

The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index rose on Wednesday as strength in commodity prices supported energy and mining stocks, while shares in home retailer Rona Inc almost doubled after a generous takeover deal.

Dow Jones Industrial Average e-mini futures were up 0.21 percent at 7:15 a.m. ET, while S&P 500 e-mini futures were up 0.16 percent and Nasdaq 100 e-mini futures were up 0.17 percent.

(Morning News Call newsletter link.reuters.com/nex49s; The Day Ahead newsletter link.reuters.com/mex49s)

TOP STORIES

Suncor Energy Inc, Canada’s largest oil and gas company, reported a fourth-quarter operating loss and cut 2016 capital spending plans on Wednesday because of the collapse in global crude prices.

Oil sands producer MEG Energy Corp posted a bigger-than-expected quarterly loss and cut its capital spending estimate for 2016 by nearly 50 percent to counter a prolonged slump in crude oil prices.

COMMODITIES AT 7:15 a.m. ET

Gold futures : $1,146.50; +0.46 pct

US crude : $32.44; +0.50 pct

Brent crude : $34.87; -0.49 pct

LME 3-month copper : $4,658.00; +0.47 pct

ANALYST RESEARCH HIGHLIGHTS

ATS Automation Tooling Systems : Canaccord Genuity cuts target price to C$14; rating “buy”

Canadian Tire Corp : NBF cuts target price to C$128 from C$135; rating “sector perform”

Rona Inc : Barclays raises rating to “equal weight” from “underweight”

U.S. ECONOMIC DATA DUE ON THURSDAY

0830 Initial jobless claims: Expected 280,000; Prior 278,000

0830 Jobless claims 4-week average: Prior 283,000

0830 Continued jobless claims: Expected 2.240 mln;Prior 2.268 mln

0830 Labor costs preliminary for Q4: Expected 3.9 pct; Prior 1.8 pct

0830 Productivity preliminary for Q4: Expected -1.8 pct; Prior 2.2 pct

1000 Durables ex-defense, R mm for Dec: Prior -2.9 pct

1000 Durable goods, R mm for Dec: Prior -5.1 pct

1000 Factory orders mm for Dec: Expected -2.8 pct; Prior -0.2 pct

1000 Durables ex-transport R mm for Dec: Prior -1.2 pct

1000 Nondefense cap ex-air R mm for Dec: Prior -4.3 pct

1000 Factory ex-transport mm for Dec: Prior -0.3 pct

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$1.37) (Reporting by Nikhil Kumar in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel)

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