CANADA STOCKS-TSX set to open lower on Yellen comments

March 20 Thu Mar 20, 2014 7:30am EDT

March 20 (Reuters) - Stock futures pointed to a lower opening for Canada's main stock index on Thursday after Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen hinted at a potential earlier-than-anticipated increase in interest rates.

June futures on the S&P TSX index <0#SXF:> were down 0.17 percent at 0715 ET.

The index slipped on Wednesday after the Fed stuck with its plan to withdraw its monetary stimulus and dropped a guideline for when interest rates may eventually rise.

Dow Jones industrial average futures were down 0.22 percent at 0715 ET, S&P 500 futures were down 0.31 percent and Nasdaq 100 futures were down 0.37 percent.

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

TOP STORIES

Alberta Premier Alison Redford said she would resign as leader of the oil-rich province following an expenses scandal that sank her party's popularity.

Loral Space & Communications Inc, which holds a majority stake in satellite communications company Telesat Holdings Inc, has selected private equity firm Apax Partners and two Canadian pension funds to negotiate a sale of Telesat, people familiar with the matter said.

Peru said it was working with Bear Creek Mining to avoid being sued by the company under free trade protections over its suspended silver project.

A record-shattering Canadian harvest, combined with one of the most frigid winters in decades, has created a grain-handling backlog that will not be cleared until next year, the head of Canadian National Railway Co said.

COMMODITIES AT 0715 ET

Gold futures : $1,333; -0.63 pct

US crude : $100.02; -0.37 pct

Brent crude : $105.66; -0.18 pct

LME 3-month copper : $6,439; -1.74 pct

ANALYST RESEARCH HIGHLIGHTS

Canyon Services Grp : Canaccord Genuity raises to buy; Raymond James, CIBC up target

Emera Inc : Canaccord Genuity cuts to hold from buy

KP Tissue : RBC, CIBC cut target price

U.S. ECONOMIC DATA DUE ON THURSDAY

08:30 Initial jobless claims w/e: Expected 325,000 Prior 315,000

08:30 Jobless claims 4-wk avg w/e: Prior 330,500

08:30 Continued jobless claims w/e: Expected 2.868 mln Prior 2.855 mln

10:00 Existing home sales Feb: Expected 4.60 mln Prior 4.62 mln

10:00 Existing home sales pct chg Feb: Expected +0.4 pct Prior -5.1 pct

10:00 Leading index change mm Feb: Expected +0.2 pct Prior +0.3 pct

10:00 Philly Fed business index Mar: Expected +3.8 Prior -6.3

10:00 Philly Fed 6-mth index Mar: Prior 40.20

10:00 Philly Fed capex index Mar: Prior 19.90

10:00 Philly Fed employment Mar: Prior 4.80

10:00 Philly Fed prices paid Mar: Prior 14.20

10:00 Philly Fed new orders Mar: Prior -5.20

FOR CANADIAN MARKETS NEWS, CLICK ON CODES IN BRACKETS:

TSX market report

Canadian dollar and bonds report

Reuters global stocks poll for Canada

Canadian markets directory

($1= $1.11 Canadian) (Reporting by Ayesha Sruti Ahmed in Bangalore; Editing by Ted Kerr)

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