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CANADA STOCKS-Futures little changed ahead of manufacturing data

    March 17 Stock futures pointed to a flat opening
for Canada's main stock index on Friday as investors awaited
manufacturing sales data for January.
    March futures on the S&P TSX index         were up 0.04
percent at 7:15 a.m. ET.
    Manufacturing data, due to be released at 8:30 a.m. ET, is
expected to show that sales fell by 0.2 percent in January after
rising for the previous two months.         
    The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index rose on
Thursday, led by gains for financials as bond yields rose, while
luxury parka maker Canada Goose Holdings Inc           gained on
its stock market debut.             
    Dow Jones Industrial Average e-mini futures         were up
0.1 percent at 7:15 a.m. ET, while S&P 500 e-mini futures       
were up 0.01 percent and Nasdaq 100 e-mini futures        were
up 0.09 percent.     
    
 (Morning News Call newsletter here
 ; The Day Ahead newsletter here)
    
    TOP STORIES          
    ValueAct Capital raised its stake in Valeant Pharmaceuticals
International Inc         , in a move that could provide a
confidence boost to the drug company three days after its
largest shareholder sold out of the stock.             
    Canada is committed to keeping the North American Free Trade
Agreement (NAFTA) as a trilateral accord, Canada's trade
minister said on Thursday, in a sign of support for Mexico as it
prepares for tough negotiations with the new U.S.
administration.             
    
    ANALYST RESEARCH HIGHLIGHTS         
    Empire Co Ltd          : Barclays raises rating to "equal
weight" from "underweight"
    Transat AT Inc         : CIBC cuts target price to C$5.50
from C$6
    
    COMMODITIES AT 7:15 a.m. ET           
    Gold futures       : $1227.1; rose 0.05 percent       
    US crude       : $49.03; rose 0.57 percent      
    Brent crude        : $51.99; rose 0.48 percent      
    LME 3-month copper        : $5913.5; rose 0.08 percent
       
    
    U.S. ECONOMIC DATA DUE ON FRIDAY
    09:15 Industrial production mm for Feb: Expected 0.2 pct;
Prior -0.3 pct
    09:15 Capacity utilization mm for Feb: Expected 75.5 pct;
Prior 75.3 pct
    09:15 Manufacturing output mm for Feb: Expected 0.4 pct;
Prior 0.2 pct
    10:00 Leading index change mm for Feb: Expected 0.4 pct;
Prior 0.6 pct
    10:00 U Mich Sentiment Preliminary for Mar: Expected 97.0;
Prior 95.7
    10:00 U Mich Conditions Preliminary for Mar: Expected 111.0;
Prior 111.2
    10:00 U Mich Expectations Preliminary for Mar: Expected
85.5; Prior 85.7
    10:00 U Mich 1 year inflation preliminary for Mar: Prior 2.8
pct
    10:00 U Mich 5-year inflation preliminary for Mar: Prior 2.5
pct
    10:30 ECRI Weekly Index: Prior 144.9
    10:30 ECRI weekly annualized: Prior 9.5 pct
    
    FOR CANADIAN MARKETS NEWS, CLICK ON CODES:
    TSX market report      
    Canadian dollar and bonds report             
    Reuters global stocks poll for Canada              
          
    Canadian markets directory         
 ($1 = C$1.33)

 (Reporting by Nayyar Rasheed in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio
D'Souza)
  
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