September 5, 2012 / 12:32 PM / 5 years ago

CANADA STOCKS-TSX may open lower, ECB meeting eyed

4 Min Read

Sep 5 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index looked set to open lower on Wednesday, ahead of a European Central Bank meeting on Thursday, weighed by a string of weak macro data that showed the euro zone is likely to have slipped back into recession in the current quarter.

Top Stories

* The euro zone probably slipped back into recession in the current quarter, according to business surveys that also showed Asia's services sector growth remained muted in August as the global economy struggled to get its footing.

* The U.S. Justice Department is ramping up its rhetoric against BP PLC for the massive 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, describing in new court papers examples of what it calls "gross negligence and willful misconduct."

* Canadian property and casualty insurer Intact Financial Corp said summer storms are likely to cost it C$110 million to C$130 million in after-tax damages, net of reinsurance.

* A German government bond failed to attract bids worth the amount offered at its launch -- only the second such failure this year -- as expectations of ECB action and competing supply hit demand.

Market Snapshot

* Canada stock futures traded down 0.29 percent

* U.S. stock futures , , were down around 0.18 percent

* European shares, were mixed

Commodity Price Moves

* Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB Index : 308.4; fell 0.13 percent

* Gold futures : $1,690.4; fell 0.15 percent

* US crude : $95.03; fell 0.28 percent

* Brent crude : $113.53; fell 0.57 percent

* LME 3-month copper : $7,615.4; fell 0.33 percent

Canadian Stocks to Watch

* TransAlta Corp. : The power producer said its unit entered into an agreement with Fortescue Metals Group Ltd to buy a 125 megawatt dual-fuel power station in Western Australia for $318 million.

* Agnico-Eagle Mines Ltd. : The gold miner said its board approved the development and construction of a mine in Mexico.

* Canadian Oil Sands Ltd. : The largest-interest owner of the Syncrude project, said that operation produced an average of 359,500 barrels a day in August, up about 37 percent from 262,000 in the previous month.

* Enbridge Inc. : The company's proposed Northern Gateway oil pipeline to Canada's Pacific Coast could cost thousands of high-paying refining jobs in Alberta, a labor group warned on Tuesday as the company faced its first day of grilling at public hearings into the contentious project.

* Suncor Energy Inc. : The energy company said on Tuesday that output at its oil sands operations averaged 373,000 barrels per day in August, up from 351,000 bpd the previous month.

* TeraGo Inc. : The wireless broadband services provider said it is initiating a strategic review to take advantage of new rules that allow greater foreign ownership of small telecom companies in Canada.

Analyst Recommendations

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

* Agnico Eagle Mines : RBC raises price target of its U.S. listed shares to $56 from $53 ; rating sector perform after the gold miner said its board approved the development and construction of a mine in Mexico.

* Detour Gold : NBF cuts price target to C$36.25 from C$42 as higher cash costs and sustaining capex weighed on valuation

* Labrador Iron Mines : Canaccord cuts to speculative buy on assumption of near-term equity financing in a difficult market

* Twin Butte Energy : Canaccord raises price target to C$3.25 from C$3 after the company acquired Waseca Energy for $127 million.

* Valeant Pharmaceuticals : Canaccord raises price target of its U.S. listed shares to $70 from $62 to reflect impact of Medicis acquisition

On the Calendar

* Major Canadian economic data includes BOC interest rate decision

* Major U.S. events and data includes productivity and unit labour costs

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