CANADA STOCKS-TSX set to open higher after North American jobs data

Reuters

Feb 7 (Reuters) - Canadian stock index futures pointed to a higher open on Friday after North American jobs data showed higher-than-expected gains in Canada, but softer-than-expected U.S. numbers.

TOP STORIES

* U.S. employers hired far fewer workers than expected in January and job gains for the prior month were barely revised up, suggesting a loss of momentum in the economy, even as the unemployment rate hit a new five-year low of 6.6 percent.

* The Canadian economy in January recouped 29,400 of the 44,000 jobs lost in December, registering an even larger jump in full-time positions, while the unemployment rate fell to 7.0 percent from 7.2 percent, Statistics Canada said on Friday.

* Baytex Energy Corp has agreed to buy Aurora Oil & Gas Ltd for C$2.6 billion including debt, targeting the Australian company's Texas shale oil assets and driving its shares to a 15-month high.

* An east-west struggle over Ukraine turned nastier as Moscow accused the United States of fomenting a coup and Washington pointed a finger at Russia for leaking a recording of U.S. diplomats discussing how to shape a new government in Kiev.

* LinkedIn Corp delivered revenue forecasts that fell short of Wall Street's expectations, deflating hopes that the high-flying professional social network can sustain its growth streak and sending its stock 8 percent lower.

MARKET SNAPSHOT

* Canada stock futures traded up

* U.S. stock futures , , were up

* European shares, were up

COMMODITY PRICE MOVES

* Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB Index rose slightly

* Gold futures : rose 1.2 percent

* US crude : $97.54; fell 0.31 percent

* Brent crude : $107.32; rose 0.12 percent

* LME 3-month copper : $7,148.75; rose 0.27 percent

CANADIAN STOCKS TO WATCH

* Gluskin Sheff : The asset manager said on Thursday its quarterly profit more than doubled due to rising assets under management and higher performance fees, prompting it to announce a special dividend of C$1.40 a share.

* TransCanada Corp : Environmental groups are stepping up efforts to convince Canadian authorities to reject a major new pipeline to the east coast, with one think tank saying on Thursday that filling the new line would generate up to 45 percent more carbon emissions than the controversial TransCanada's Keystone XL.

ANALYSTS' RECOMMENDATIONS

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

* BCE Inc : CIBC raises target price by C$1 to C$45 on the company's solid fourth-quarter results that were in line with analysts estimates

* Canfor Corp : CIBC cuts rating to sector performer from sector outperformer on valuation based on mid-cycle lumber prices

* New Gold Inc : National Bank Financial cuts target price to C$7.25 from C$7.70 as the company's FY2014 production guidance came below expectations

* Silver Standard Resources Inc : CIBC raises rating of its U.S.-listed stocks to sector outperformer from sector performer, believes there is a clear strategic rationale for the company's Marigold mine deal as it delivers a diversification of production, cash flows and resources out of Argentina and into Nevada

* TMX Group Ltd : CIBC raises target price to C$50 from C$48 following the company's better-than-expected fourth-quarter results

ON THE CALENDAR

* Major Canadian economic data includes employment change, unemployment rate and participation rate

* Major U.S. events and data includes nonfarm, private payrolls and consumer credit

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