February 6, 2018 / 2:18 PM / 3 months ago

CANADA STOCKS-TSX set to open sharply lower after trade deficit widens

(Adds news about trade deficit, updates prices)

Feb 6 (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index was set to open sharply lower on Tuesday after the nation’s trade deficit ballooned unexpectedly, intensifying losses in stock futures amid a rout in global equities.

March futures on the S&P TSX index were down 1.69 percent at 9:00 a.m. ET.

Canada’s trade deficit unexpectedly widened to C$3.19 billion ($2.53 billion) in December as imports grew faster than exports for the second month in a row, data from Statistics Canada indicated on Tuesday.

Canada’s main stock index slumped to a 4-1/2-month low on Monday as a global selloff and weakness in energy prices hit investor sentiment.

Dow Jones Industrial Average e-mini futures were down 0.43 percent at 9:00 a.m. ET, while S&P 500 e-mini futures were down 0.09 percent and Nasdaq 100 e-mini futures were up 0.17 percent.

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TOP STORIES

Home sales in Toronto fell 22 percent in January from a year earlier as rising interest rates and tighter mortgage rules weighed on demand, but prices have stabilized as stubborn sellers and tight supply kept the correction in check.

Nutrien Ltd, the Canadian fertilizer and farm supply dealer created from the merger of Agrium Inc and Potash Corp of Saskatchewan this year, said it expected demand growth for potash in China and India to cool down in 2018.

Canada’s WestJet Airlines Ltd reported a 12 percent fall in fourth-quarter earnings, hurt by higher operating expenses as fuel prices increase.

ANALYST RESEARCH HIGHLIGHTS

CAE Inc: RBC raises target price to C$25 from C$24

Element Fleet Management Corp: RBC cuts target price to C$8 from C$12

Rogers Communications Inc: Morgan Stanley cuts price target to C$65 from C$71‍​

COMMODITIES AT 9:00 a.m. ET

Gold futures: $1333.3; +0.02 percent

US crude: $63.49; -1.03 percent

Brent crude: $66.87; -1.11 percent

LME 3-month copper: $7088.5; -1.12 percent

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$1.25 Reporting by Pathikrit Bandyopadhyay in Bengaluru; Editing by Sai Sachin Ravikumar

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