Toronto's main stock index looked set to open lower on Monday, hurt by news of major job cuts at Research In Motion Ltd (RIM.TO: Quote) and an impasse in U.S. debt ceiling talks that fueled worries of a U.S. default.
A sharply divided U.S. Congress pursued rival budget plans that appeared unlikely to win broad support, pushing the United States closer to a ratings downgrade and debt default that would send shockwaves through global markets.
BlackBerry maker RIM said on Monday it plans to cut about 2,000 jobs, or 11 percent of its workforce, and would explain the financial impact of the cuts when it reports second quarter results on September 15.
FACTORS TO WATCH
* Canadian equity futures pointed to a lower open.
* Wall Street is also set for a lower start with investors closely watching corporate results, which includes Texas Instruments, Radioshack, Broadcom and Anadarko Petroleum. .N
* European shares fell from their highest in more than a week with financial stocks among the top losers. .EU
* Asian markets slipped, with Shanghai Composite Index hitting its biggest single day fall in six months, as some investors dumped shares linked with rail stocks in the wake of the weekend's deadly train disaster.
COMMODITY PRICE MOVES
* The Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB index .CRB, a global commodities benchmark, fell 0.31 percent in early trade.
* Oil futures slipped below $118 a barrel after a breakdown of budget talks in the U.S. Congress over the weekend helped drive investors away from volatile and risky assets.
* Gold prices hit record highs on Monday after negotiations to lift the U.S. debt ceiling hit stalemate over the weekend, raising fears over a possible default and boosting the appeal of bullion versus U.S. assets like Treasuries and the dollar.
* Copper came under selling pressure as investors fretted about debt default in the United States, but the resulting lower dollar and strong supply and demand fundamentals helped cushion losses.
OTHER CANADIAN STOCKS TO WATCH
* Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. (VRX.TO: Quote): The specialty drugmaker said Canadian health regulators approved its insomnia drug, Sublinox and it expects to launch the product in the fourth-quarter.
* Quadra FNX Mining (QUX.TO: Quote): The miner's second-quarter production rose 20 percent and the company said ore grades at a key mine in Nevada had improved significantly in the current quarter.
* First Quantum Minerals (FM.TO: Quote): A British Virgin Islands court will consider an application from units of Kazakh miner ENRC to strike out a $2 billion claim filed by First Quantum over a disputed Congo copper project.
Following is a summary of research actions on Canadian companies reported by Reuters.
* Belo Sun Mining (BSX.V: Quote) coverage started with sector outperformer rating and C$2.60 price target at CIBC
* Gold Canyon (GCU.V: Quote) rating started with sector performer and C$3.50 price target at CIBC
* Precision Drilling (PD.TO: Quote) price target raised to C$19 from C$17 at CIBC; price target raised to C$19 from C$17; rating outperform at RBC
* Trelawney (TRR.V: Quote) coverage started with sector performer rating and C$6.50 price target at CIBC