March 23 Toronto's resource-heavy main stock
index looked set to open slightly lower on Friday, as recent
data on the U.S. labor market did little to counter weak
manufacturing reports from the euro zone and China.
FACTORS TO WATCH
* Canadian equity futures pointed to a lower open.
* U.S. stock index futures were little changed after
equities suffered their worst percentage drop in two weeks, with
the S&P 500 on track for its first decline in the past six
* Higher gasoline and food prices drove up Canada's annual
inflation rate to 2.6 percent in February from 2.5 percent,
slightly below expectations but likely becoming more of a
concern for the central bank when setting interest rates.
* The Canadian dollar extended losses against the U.S.
currency after data showed Canada's annual inflation rate edged
up in February to 2.6 percent from a rate of 2.5 percent in
* European equities retreated further early after four
straight sessions of falls, stalked by concerns over the global
COMMODITY PRICE MOVES
* The Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB index, a global
commodities benchmark, rose 0.22 percent in early trade.
* Oil rebounded to around $124 a barrel after Thursday's
sell off as supply concerns underpinned prices despite
reassurances from the International Energy Agency
* Gold rose, led by a rebound in the euro, but was still set
for a fourth consecutive weekly loss, due to patchy consumer
demand and evidence of the waning investor appetite for the
metal as confidence in the economic outlook strengthens.
* Copper rebounded from a two-week low hit the previous
session, helped by a weaker dollar and falling inventories, but
was still on track for a weekly loss as worries over demand
growth in top consumer China and elsewhere lingered.
CANADIAN STOCKS TO WATCH
* Pengrowth Energy Corp. : The oil and gas producer
will buy NAL Energy Corp in a deal valued at about
C$1.9 billion, including debt, to add light oil assets.
* Silver Wheaton : The silver stream company
reported a 20 percent rise in profit, helped by increased
selling prices of silver and gold.
* Air Canada : : The airline said on
Thursday that its search to replace maintenance provider Aveos
Fleet Performance Inc. will favor companies with operations in
Separately, some of the company's ground staff walked off
the job in a wildcat protest on Thursday night at Toronto's
Pearson International Airport, a company spokeswoman told
Reuters, adding that no flights were canceled.
* Research In Motion : The BlackBerry maker wants to
hire a software developer with deep experience building
applications for Apple's iPhone and iPad, according to a job
posting on its LinkedIn page.
Following is a summary of research actions on Canadian
companies reported by Reuters.
* Delphi Energy Corp. : Canaccord Genuity cuts to
speculative buy from buy
* Innergex Renewable :National Bank Financial cuts
to sector perform from outperform
* Miranda Technologies : National Bank Financial
starts with outperform; Canaccord Genuity raises target to
C$14.50 from C$12.50
* New Flyer : CIBC cuts price target to C$8.50 from
C$9; Canaccord Genuity cuts to hold from buy; target to C$6.25
* Pinecrest Energy : Canaccord Genuity raises target
price to C$6 from C$5.85
* Taseko Mines : Canaccord Genuity cuts target price
to C$4.10 from C$4.30