August 9, 2012 / 12:57 PM / 5 years ago

CANADA STOCKS-TSX may open higher, central banks eyed for action

7 Min Read

Aug 9 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index looked set to edge up at the open on Thursday as soft economic data from world's second biggest economy, China, kept hopes alive of action from major central banks to support declining global growth.

Top Stories

* China's factory output growth slowed unexpectedly in July to its weakest in more than three years, underlining stiff global headwinds that may prompt policymakers to take more action to keep growth on track to meet a 7.5 percent annual target.

* The European Central Bank is determined to bring down the excessive borrowing costs hurting Spain and Italy and should be ready to intervene decisively in bond markets very soon, ECB governing council member Christian Noyer said on Thursday.

* Bombardier Inc reported a 14 percent fall in second-quarter profit on lower revenue in its train division.

* Tim Hortons Inc , Canada's largest restaurant chain, said its profit rose 13 percent in the second quarter as it benefited from strong U.S. sales.

* Manulife Financial Corp fell to a second-quarter loss as weak financial markets forced the company to take a C$677 million ($680.4 million) charge to revalue long-term investment assumptions, but the result beat analysts' expectations.

* Canadian Natural Resources Ltd reported a 19 percent fall in second-quarter net profit on lower oil and gas prices, and further cut spending on natural gas.

Market Snapshot

* Canada stock futures traded up 0.07 percent

* U.S. stock futures , , were down in the range of -0.06 percent to -0.2 percent

* European shares, were down

Commodity Price Moves

* Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB Index : 304.23; fell 0.03 percent

* Gold futures : $1,610.1; fell 0.17 percent

* US crude : $93.6; rose 0.27 percent

* Brent crude : $112.34; rose 0.18 percent

* LME 3-month copper : $7,516; fell 0.45 percent

Canadian Stocks to Watch

* Metro Inc. : The grocery store reported a nearly 14 percent rise in quarterly profit on higher sales from its majority-owned ethnic food retailer Marché Adonis.

* Sprott Inc. : The asset manager's second-quarter profit fell 90 percent on lower management fees.

* WestFire Energy Ltd and Guide Exploration Ltd : WestFire Energy agreed to buy Guide Exploration for C$198.2 million in a reverse takeover to create an oil and natural gas liquids-heavy company with presence in Alberta and Saskatchewan.

* Quebecor Inc. : The cable and media company reported a higher second-quarter profit on growth in its telecommunications segment.

* Cineplex Inc. : The motion picture exhibitor's second-quarter profit rose 56 percent on higher revenue from its premium-priced offerings.

* Cascades Inc. : The packaging and paper products company's second-quarter profit fell on lower sales in Europe and currency exchange rate losses.

* Crocotta Energy Inc. : The oil and gas company's second-quarter profit almost tripled on higher oil and natural gas production.

* Research In Motion : South Korea's Samsung Electronics Co said it has not considered acquiring the BlackBerry maker or licensing the embattled company's new mobile operating system.

Separately, Research in Motion said a U.S. judge had ruled the company had not infringed on Mformation Technologies Inc's patent and overturned an award of $147.2 million that a jury said Research in Motion should pay.

* Alliance Grain Traders Inc. : The devastating hot, dry conditions that have scorched U.S. corn and soybean crops have largely missed North American legume-growing areas, the legume trader and processor said on Wednesday.

* Canaccord Financial Inc. : The financial services company reported a quarterly loss and slashed its dividend payout on Wednesday, as unfavorable market conditions led to a sharp fall in revenues from its investment banking arm and wealth management unit in North America.

* Franco-Nevada Corp. : The gold-focused royalty company reported an 11 percent rise in quarterly profit on higher revenue from its U.S. assets.

* Kinross Gold Corp. : The gold miner said on Wednesday its second-quarter profit fell 53 percent as lower production and higher costs outweighed a slight increase in precious metal prices.

* Goldcorp Inc. : The gold miner named George Burns its new executive vice president and chief operating officer on Wednesday, replacing Steve Reid, who is leaving to pursue other interests.

* Linamar Corp. : The auto parts maker reported a 51 percent jump in second-quarter earnings on Wednesday on the back of increased sales and margins as stronger consumer demand in the United States offset weaker demand in Europe.

* North American Palladium Ltd. : The precious metals company reported a second-quarter loss citing lower palladium prices and no gold sales at its Sleeping Giant mine.

* Peyto Exploration & Development Corp. : The company posted a 44 percent fall in quarterly profit due to lower oil and gas prices.

* Sun Life Financial Inc. : The insurer said on Wednesday its profit fell 87.5 percent in the second quarter, hurt by weak stock markets and sinking bond yields.

* Yamana Gold Inc. : The gold miner said on Wednesday its second quarter adjusted earnings fell 28 percent on lower metal prices, copper sales volumes and higher production costs.

* Indigo Books & Music Inc. : The retailer posted a narrower first-quarter loss on a fall in costs.

Analyst Recommendations

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

* 5n Plus : CIBC cuts price target to C$3.25 from C$5.75 on lower-than-expected second-quarter results, rates sector outperformer

* BCE Inc : NBF raises price target to C$44 from C$43 on strong second-quarter wireless and media results, rates sector perform

* Gran Tierra : CIBC raises target to C$7 from C$6.50 on strong reserve gains, rates sector outperformer

* IBI Group Inc : NBF cuts price target to C$13 from C$16 says margins continue to be pressured, rates outperform

* Sun Life Financial : CIBC cuts target to C$24 from C$25 says potential charges weigh on book value forecast, rates sector performer

On the Calendar

* Major Canadian economic data includes new housing purchasing index and trade balance

* Major U.S. events and data includes initial jobless claims, trade balance and wholesale inventories

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