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TSX may extend losses; strong jobs data supports

(Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index looked set to open slightly lower, tracking global markets as debt crisis worries crimped investor appetite for riskier assets, though strong Canadian and U.S. jobs data provided some support

FACTORS TO WATCH

Canadian equity futures pointed to a slightly lower open.

The Canadian dollar rose to a session high against its U.S. counterpart on Thursday after domestic jobs data showed the economy added far more jobs than expected in March, marking the largest monthly job increase since September 2008.

U.S. stock index futures pared losses on Thursday after data showed initial jobless claims fell to their lowest level in nearly four years last week, indicating the domestic labor market is improving.

European shares fell, with concerns about Spain and its ability to meet budget targets hitting the euro zone peripheral indexes, while more losses were expected after the FTSEurofirst 300 index broke a support level.

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COMMODITY PRICE MOVES

The Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB index, a global commodities benchmark, fell 0.04 percent in early trade.

Oil rose above $123 a barrel, bouncing from sharp falls in the previous two sessions, on growing concerns over Iranian oil supplies being disrupted due to Western sanctions.

Gold inched higher after falling to a near three-month low the previous day as weaker prices tempted some buyers, but gains were capped by a stronger dollar and fading hopes for a fresh round of monetary stimulus in the United States.

Copper steadied following a 3 percent loss the prior session, helped by consumer buying and stabilizing appetite for risk, but any gain was expected to be limited ahead of the long Easter weekend in U.S. and European markets.

CANADIAN STOCKS TO WATCH

Suncor Energy Inc: Production at Canada's biggest oil sands projects, run by the company and Syncrude Canada Ltd, tumbled in March after unscheduled outages of major processing equipment.

Separately, Newfoundland's oil regulator laid three charges against the oil company, on Wednesday related to a spill of synthetic drilling fluids in 2011 from a Suncor rig operating in the East Coast province's waters.

Harry Winston Diamond Corp.: The company posted a 17 percent jump in quarterly profit, and said it would wait on the release of a full life-of-mine plan for the Diavik diamond project, following partner Rio Tinto's decision to review its diamond business.

Lake Shore Gold Corp.: The gold miner said it has resumed operations at its Timmins West Mine in Ontario, and reported a fall in its quarterly production.

ANALYST RECOMMENDATIONS

Following is a summary of research actions on Canadian companies reported by Reuters.

ARC Resources Ltd.: CIBC cuts to sector performer from sector outperformer; CIBC cuts price target to C$25.50 from C$30

Baytex Energy Corp.: CIBC cuts price target to C$61 from C$67

Bonterra Energy Corp.: CIBC cuts price target to C$59 from C$63.50

Canadian Natural Resources Ltd.: CIBC cuts price target to C$43 from C$46

Eagle Energy Trust: CIBC cuts price target to C$12.50 from C$14

Pacific Rubiales Energy Corp.: CIBC raises price target to C$34.25 from C$32.50

Petrobakken Energy Ltd.: CIBC cuts price target to C$23 from C$24

Teck Resources: Canaccord Genuity raises target to C$48 from C$46; rating buy

Uranium One: Canaccord Genuity raises price target to C$4 from C$3.50; rating buy

($1= $0.99 Canadian)

(Reporting by Kishan Nair; Editing by Jeffrey Hodgson)

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