August 23, 2012 / 12:06 PM / 5 years ago

CANADA STOCKS-TSX may open higher on FOMC minutes

Aug 23 (Reuters) - Canada’s resource heavy index looked set to open higher after minutes of the latest Federal Reserve meeting indicated central bank might be ready for third round of stimulus “fairly soon” prompted an optimistic tone that outweighed poor economic data from China and Europe.

TOP STORIES

* The Federal Reserve is likely to deliver another round of monetary stimulus “fairly soon” unless the economy improves considerably, minutes from the U.S. central bank’s latest meeting suggested.

* China’s manufacturing sector contracted at its sharpest pace in nine months in August, according to a survey showing falling export orders and rising inventories, a signal that more policy stimulus may be needed to engineer a second half pick-up in growth.

* German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande will present a united front toward Greece at talks on Thursday, telling Athens not to expect leeway on its bailout agreement unless it sticks to its terms.

* The European Central Bank is considering setting a yield target on purchases under a new bond-buying plan, but without making the target levels public, central bank sources told Reuters.

* PetroChina , the country’s dominant oil and gas producer which also owns refineries, posted a drop of more than a fifth in its quarterly earnings, hit by lower crude oil prices and refining and chemicals losses.

MARKET SNAPSHOT

* Canada stock futures traded up 0.32 percent

* U.S. stock futures , , were up around 0.1 percent

* European shares, were up

COMMODITY PRICE MOVES

* Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB Index : 308.85; rose 0.27 percent

* Gold futures : $1,659; rose 1.32 percent

* US crude : $97.59; rose 0.34 percent

* Brent crude : $115.91; rose 0.87 percent

* LME 3-month copper : $7,667.75; rose 0.83 percent

CANADIAN STOCKS TO WATCH

* Calvalley Petroleum Inc. : Oslo-listed DNO International will not make an offer to buy Calvalley Petroleum after talks with the company failed to provide it with enough information regarding litigation by Al-Zarqa Electricity, it said.

ANALYST RECOMMENDATIONS

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

* Alamos Gold Inc : RBC starts with outperform and price target of C$23 citing robust long term production, resilient cost structure and positive free cash flow

* ARC Resources Ltd. : CIBC raises price target to C$24 from C$23.50 after the company closed 750 million in financings and reported stronger-than-expected second-quarter results

* Sterling Resources Ltd. : CIBC cuts price target to C$1.75 from C$2 citing a second-quarter loss and further cost overruns at Breagh

* TriOil Resources Ltd. : Canaccord Genuity raises target price to C$6.25 from C$5.75 after the company reported second-quarter production and cash flow per share and says forthcoming projects of the company are a likely catalyst

ON THE CALENDAR

* No major Canadian economic data scheduled for release

* Major U.S. events and data includes Initial claims, first-time claims data for jobless benefits, flash preliminary Markit manufacturing PMI and new home sales

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