CANADA STOCKS-TSX may open lower with commodities soft, Fed eyed
April 3 (Reuters) - Toronto's resource heavy main stock index looked set to open lower on Tuesday, hurt by soft commodity prices, with investors cautious after recent gains and some mixed economic data. Investors awaited minutes from the U.S. Federal Open Market Committee's March 13 meeting, due at 2 p.m. EDT (1800 GMT), that may provide clues on any potential quantitative easing. U.S. Federal Reserve policymakers on Monday signaled little appetite for further monetary steps to stimulate U.S. growth in an economy that is gradually strengthening. FACTORS TO WATCH * Canadian equity futures pointed to a lower open. * U.S. stock index futures fell after the S&P 500 climbed to a 4-year high in the previous session as investors awaited factory orders data and minutes of the latest Federal Reserve meeting. * European shares fell, a day after recording their biggest daily gain in three weeks, with the Spanish market hit by concerns over its ability to tackle its deficit though the uptrend remained intact on the FTSEurofirst 300 index.COMMODITY PRICE MOVES * The Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB index, a global commodities benchmark, fell 0.39 percent in early trade. * Oil slipped below $125 a barrel after U.S. gasoline demand data weakened sentiment although the prospect of tighter North Sea supplies and positive economic data provided some support. * Gold held near $1,675 an ounce as investors took to the sidelines ahead of the release of minutes from the Federal Reserve's latest policy meeting, which will be closely watched for clues on the direction of U.S. monetary policy. * Copper dipped, but held close to its highest in nearly two months after better-than-expected manufacturing data in China and the United States suggested economic recovery and a pick up in demand for industrial metals in the two biggest economies. CANADIAN STOCKS TO WATCH * Royal Bank of Canada : The bank said it agreed to acquire the 50 percent stake in RBC Dexia that it does not already own from its joint-venture partner Banque Internationale à Luxembourg S. A. for 837.5 million euros. Separately, the U.S. futures regulator CFTC accused the bank of running a "trading scheme of massive proportion" to gain lucrative Canadian tax benefits. * Lake Shore Gold Corp. : The gold miner said an accident at its Timmins West mine in Ontario resulted in the death of one of its employees. ANALYST RECOMMENDATIONS Following is a summary of research actions on Canadian companies reported by Reuters. * Athabasca Oil Sands : Macquarie adds to buy list in Canada high conviction calls * Atlantic Power Corp. : CIBC raises price target to C$13.75 from C$13.50; NBF ups target to C$15 from C$14.50, rating sector perform * Avion Gold Corp. : Canaccord Genuity cuts target to C$2.50 from C$3, rating buy * Champion Minerals : Macquarie adds to buy list * Claude Resources : Canaccord Genuity cuts price target to C$2.25 from C$2.85 * Extorre Gold Mines : Canaccord Genuity cuts price target to C$9.10 from C$12.40 * Genworth MI Canada : Macquarie cuts target to C$25 from C$25.50, rating neutral * Goldcorp Inc. : Macquarie raises price target to C$63 from C$62, rating outperform * Mercator Minerals : Canaccord Genuity cuts target to C$2.50 from C$2.85, rating buy * Rio Alto Mining Ltd. : CIBC raises price target to C$6 from C$5.80
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