(Updates Canadian and U.S. economic data)
July 3 Canadian stocks looked set to open higher on Thursday with June futures on the S&P TSX index <0#SXF:> up 0.35 percent at 0845 ET.
A resumption of growth in Canadian exports in May, after some plant maintenance in April, helped cut the trade gap to C$152 million from C$961 million in April, despite record imports, Statistics Canada said.
U.S. employment growth jumped in June and the unemployment rate declined to near a six-year low of 6.1 percent, effectively dispelling fears about the economy's health and underscoring its momentum heading into the second half of 2014.
The TSX index hit its highest-ever level on Wednesday as stronger-than-expected U.S. private sector jobs data helped lift banks, oil companies and miners.
Dow Jones Industrial Average e-mini futures were down 0.02 percent at 0845 ET, while S&P 500 e-mini futures were down 0.04 percent. Nasdaq 100 e-mini futures were up 0.06 percent.
Iron ore miner Labrador Iron Mines Holdings said it had halted mining operations this year, as falling prices on the back of a surge in global supply hit smaller producers.
Hungary's government plans to make further acquisitions in the energy sector and is also in advanced talks to buy Bombardier's stake in Hungarian rail transportation firm Bombardier MAV Kft, the development minister said.
Lululemon Athletica Inc founder Dennis Wilson's advisers have been talking to private equity firms including Leonard Green & Partners to find out if they are interested in buying the fashionable yoga gear maker, the WSJ reported citing people familiar with the matter.
COMMODITIES AT 0845 ET
Gold futures : $1,316.6; -1.07 pct
US crude : $104.03; -0.43 pct
Brent crude : $110.63; -0.55 pct
LME 3-month copper : $7,131.50; -0.09 pct
ANALYST RESEARCH HIGHLIGHTS
Cathedral Energy Services : NBF raises to outperform from sector perform rating
PrairieSky Royalty : National Bank Financial starts coverage with outperform; target C$45
Superior Plus : National Bank Financial adds to NBF Action List
U.S. ECONOMIC DATA DUE ON THURSDAY
0830 Non-farm payrolls for June: Actual 288,000, prior +217,000
0830 Private payrolls for June: Actual 262,000, prior +216,000
0830 Manufacturing payrolls for June: Actual 16,000, prior +10,000
0830 Government payrolls for June: Actual 26,000, prior +1,000
0830 Unemployment rate for June: Actual +6.1, prior +6.3 pct
0830 Average earnings mm for June: Actual +0.2, prior +0.2 pct
0830 Average workweek hrs for June: Actual +34.5 hrs, prior +34.5 hrs
0830 International trade mm for May: Actual -$44.39 bln, prior -$47.2 bln
0830 Initial jobless claims: Actual +315,000, prior +312,000
0830 Jobless claims 4-week average: Actual +315,000, prior +314,250
0830 Continued jobless claims: Actual +2.579 mln, prior +2.571 mln
0945 Markit comp final PMI for June: Prior +58.40
0945 Markit services PMI final for June: Prior +61.2
1000 ISM non-manufacturing PMI for June: Expected +56.3, prior +56.3
1000 ISM non-manufacturing business activity for June: Expected +61.0, prior +62.1
1000 ISM non-manufacturing employment index for June: Prior +52.4
1000 ISM non-manufacturing new orders index for June: Prior +60.5
1000 ISM non-manufacturing price paid index for June: Prior +61.4
1030 ECRI weekly index: Prior +135.4
1030 ECRI weekly annualized: Prior +4.3 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= $1.07 Canadian) (Reporting by Mononshila Deka in Bangalore; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)