September 6, 2012 / 12:37 PM / in 5 years

CANADA STOCKS-TSX may open higher ahead of Draghi's conference

Sep 6 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index looked set to open higher, tracking global markets, on expectations the European Central Bank will announce new tactics to help bring down borrowing costs of some indebted countries.

TOP STORIES

* European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi faces the most decisive moment of his presidency when he tries to heal divisions among policymakers and deliver on his promise to save the euro.

* The Bank of England stuck to its current policy of government bond purchases on Thursday as Britain’s recession appears to be easing and hopes are running high for a sweeping move by the European Central Bank to ease the euro zone crisis.

* Strong exports limited the euro zone’s economic contraction in the second quarter of this year despite falling investment, inventories and private consumption that point to output shrinking overall in 2012.

* Descartes Systems Group Inc, which develops software for companies to manage their inventories and truck fleets, reported a 4 percent fall in quarterly profit on acquisition related costs.

* Harry Winston Diamond Corp reported a 52 percent drop in its quarterly profit late on Wednesday, largely due to declines in rough diamond prices and a decrease in the volume of carats sold.

MARKET SNAPSHOT

* Canada stock futures traded up 0.57 percent

* U.S. stock futures , , were up around 0.30 percent

* European shares, were up

COMMODITY PRICE MOVES

* Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB Index : 310.01; rose 0.56 percent

* Gold futures : $1,708; rose 1.02 percent

* US crude : $96.41; rose 1.1 percent

* Brent crude : $114.1; rose 0.89 percent

* LME 3-month copper : $7,710; fell 0.33 percent

CANADIAN STOCKS TO WATCH

* Encana Corp. : The natural gas producer said on Wednesday an internal investigation has determined that it did not collude with Chesapeake Energy Corp to lower the price of land acquisitions in Michigan two years ago.

* Nexen : China’s state-owned oil company CNOOC has formally asked the U.S. government to review its $15.1 billion takeover bid for the Canadian oil and gas explorer for any national security concerns, a CNOOC spokesman said on Wednesday.

* Cascades Inc. : The packaging and paper products company will be closing its Lachute folding carton plant in Quebec by the end of the first quarter of 2013 affecting 155 employees.

* ShawCor Ltd. : The energy services company said its controlling shareholder and chair of its board of directors, Virginia Shaw, may sell her shares as part of a sale of the company.

* Petaquilla Minerals Ltd. : Base metal miner Inmet Mining Corp said it intends to make an offer to acquire Petaquilla for an equity purchase price of about C$112 million as it looks to expand its footprint in Panama.

* Major Drilling Group International Inc. : The mine drilling company reported record quarterly earnings on Wednesday and said demand for its services from senior and mid-tier miners remains strong.

* Nordion Inc. : The medical isotope supplier posted a third-quarter profit as growth in its targeted therapies segment more than offset a decline in its medical isotope segment.

ANALYST RECOMMENDATIONS

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

* Alimentation Couche Tard : NBF raises price target to C$56 from C$55, Barclays raises price target to C$53 from C$51, after stronger-than-expected results in North America

* ArcanResources : CIBC cuts price target to C$1.90 from C$2 after sale of its sold its marketed Hamburg property

* AuRico Gold : CIBC cuts to sector performer from sector outperformer and price target to C$7 from C$10 following the release of a disappointing production guidance update

* Intact Financial : CIBC raises price target to C$71 from C$67 to reflect acquisition of Jevco

* Sprott : Canaccord Genuity raises price target to C$4.75 from C$4.50 to reflect performance of the fund in August

ON THE CALENDAR

* Major U.S. events and data includes ADP national employment, weekly jobless claims and ISM non-manufacturing data

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