TSX futures down as crude weakens on COVID-19 curbs

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Dec 9 (Reuters) - Futures for Canada's main stock index fell on Thursday, as crude prices weakened following increased restrictions in parts of the world to counter the Omicron coronavirus variant.

December futures on the S&P/TSX index were down 0.3% at 7:00 a.m. ET.

Oil prices eased after measures by some governments to slow the spread of the Omicron coronavirus variant, though losses were capped by positive comments from vaccine makers about the efficacy of their jabs.

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The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index (.GSPTSE) ended 0.4% lower at 21,077.35 on Wednesday, after climbing 2.6% in the first two days of the week.

Dow e-minis were down 127 points, or 0.36% at 7:00 a.m. ET, while S&P 500 e-minis were down 18 points, or 0.38%, and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 81 points, or 0.49%.

TOP STORIES

Canadian miner Kinross Gold Corp (K.TO) said on Wednesday it would buy gold explorer Great Bear Resources Ltd (GBR.V) for about C$1.8 billion ($1.42 billion), eyeing its Dixie project, a potentially long-life mine complex.

ANALYST RESEARCH HIGHLIGHTS

Canadian Natural Resources Ltd (CNQ.TO): JP Morgan cuts to "neutral" from "overweight"

Foran Mining Corp (FOM.V): National Bank of Canada initiates with "sector perform" rating

Mullen Group Ltd (MTL.TO): CIBC cuts to "neutral" from "outperform"

COMMODITIES AT 7:00 a.m. ET

Gold futures : $1782.1; -0.13%

US crude : $71.94; -0.58%

Brent crude : $75.29; -0.7%

U.S. ECONOMIC DATA DUE ON THURSDAY

0830 Intial jobless claim: Expected 215000; Prior 222000

0830 Jobless claim 4week average: Prior 238750

0830 Continue jobles claim: Expected 1.900 mln; Prior 1.956 mln

1000 Wholesale inventory, R mm for Oct: Expected 2.2%; Prior 2.2%

1000 Wholesale sales mm for Oct: Expected 1.0%; Prior 1.1%

FOR CANADIAN MARKETS NEWS, CLICK ON CODES:

TSX market report

Canadian dollar and bonds report CA/

Reuters global stocks poll for Canada ,

Canadian markets directory

($1= C$1.27)

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Reporting by Amal S in Bengaluru; Editing by Vinay Dwivedi

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