CANADA STOCKS- TSX To open slightly lower ahead of GDP

Dec 23 (BestGrowthStock) – Toronto’s main stock index could open
slightly lower despite rising commodity prices. Monthly
Canadian GDP figures are due at 830 a.m. (1230 GMT).

FACTORS TO WATCH

* Canadian equity futures (0#SXF:: ) pointed to a lower
open.

* U.S. stock index futures pointed to a flat opening, a day
after S&P 500 rose to its highest level since the collapse of
Lehman Brothers. [.N]

* European shares were little changed after hitting a
27-month high for a fourth day, with stronger drugmakers on a
jump in Novo Nordisk shares offsetting miners that tracked
weaker metals. [.EU]

* Asian stocks were mostly down.

COMMODITY PRICE MOVES

* The Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB index (.CRB: ), a global
commodities benchmark, fell 0.26 percent in early trade.

* Oil prices held above $90 a barrel, close to their
highest in two years after cold weather boosted demand and U.S.
stockpiles shrank. [O/R]

* Gold held steady above $1,380 an ounce, but was set for
its first weekly gain in three as worries over euro zone
sovereign debt lent support. [GOL/]

* Copper fell 1 percent as end of year book-squaring and
falling equities in top consumer China weighed on base metals.
[MET/L]

CANADIAN STOCKS TO WATCH

* Nexen Inc. (NXY.TO: ): The field operator said on Thursday
oil output from the UK’s largest oilfield which helps to set a
key price benchmark has been towards the higher end of earlier
guidance in the fourth quarter. The company said in October
fourth-quarter output from the Buzzard field in the North Sea
would be about 70 percent to 90 percent of normal because of
work to commission a fourth platform. [ID:nLDE6BM0UO]

* Royal Coal Corp. (RDA.V: ): The coal exploration company
plans to buy an 80 percent stake in a river-based coal loading
terminal in eastern Kentucky for about $8.3 million, to move
coal efficiently from its surface mines in the region to the
market. The company said the purchase includes the equipment
used to operate the river terminal, which has the capacity to
load over 100,000 tons per month. [ID:nSGE6BL0BR]
($1= $1.01 Canadian)
(Reporting by Karan Khemani and Bangalore Newsroom)

CANADA STOCKS- TSX To open slightly lower ahead of GDP