CANADA STOCKS-Weak euro zone data pushes TSX futures higher

March 31 Mon Mar 31, 2014 7:28am EDT

March 31 (Reuters) - Stock futures pointed to a higher opening for Canada's main stock index on Monday after lower-than-expected euro zone inflation data raised expectations that the European Central Bank could ease monetary policy.

June futures on the S&P TSX index <0#SXF:> were up 0.22 percent at 0715 ET.

Canadian monthly GDP data is due at 0830 ET.

Stocks ended higher on Friday as positive U.S. economic data and hopes of a Chinese government stimulus helped drive up shares of natural resource companies.

Dow Jones Industrial Average futures were up 0.29 percent at 0715 ET, S&P 500 futures were up 0.34 percent and Nasdaq 100 futures were up 0.44 percent.

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

TOP STORIES

Canadian National Railway Co and the union representing its conductors, yard workers, and traffic coordinators have agreed to start an arbitration process that ensures their most recent contract dispute will not lead to a strike at the rail operator.

Sterigenics, a sterilization services provider owned by private equity firm GTCR LLC, has reached a deal to buy medical isotopes supplier Nordion Inc for $727 million.

COMMODITIES AT 0715 ET

Gold futures : $1,294.80; +0.08 pct

US crude : $101.29; -0.37 pct

Brent crude : $107.85; -0.2 pct

LME 3-month copper : $6,641.25; -0.43 pct

ANALYST RESEARCH HIGHLIGHTS

BlackBerry : Needham raises to hold

Magellan Aerospace : TD Securities raises target price

Nordion : Paradigm raises target price

U.S. ECONOMIC DATA DUE ON MONDAY

0945 Chicago PMI: Expected 59.0; prior 59.8

1030 Dallas Fed Manufacturing business index: Prior 0.30

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 Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)

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