October 16, 2012 / 12:52 PM / 5 years ago

CANADA STOCKS-TSX may open higher as U.S. results ease worries

Oct 16 (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index looked set to open higher on Tuesday, taking cues from global markets, as worries over third-quarter earnings subsided after stronger-than-expected Citigroup earnings and recent encouraging retail sales data from the world’s largest economy.

TOP STORIES

* European Union governments imposed sanctions against major Iranian state companies in the oil and gas industry, and strengthened restrictions on the central bank, cranking up financial pressure over Tehran’s nuclear programme.

* German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble has called for a great leap forward in European integration ahead of a summit of EU leaders, urging the creation of a new commissioner with power over budgets and reform of European Parliament decision-making.

* Euro zone inflation was unchanged in September from a month earlier, after the EU’s statistics office revised down its first estimate, and the reading might have been lower were it not for a double-digit jump in clothing prices ahead of Europe’s winter.

* Insurer UnitedHealth Group Inc reported a 23 percent rise in third-quarter earnings as enrollment in its health plans increased and its technology and service business grew.

MARKET SNAPSHOT

* Canada stock futures traded up 0.22 percent

* U.S. stock futures , , were up around 0.17 percent to 0.36 percent

* European shares, were up

COMMODITY PRICE MOVES

* Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB Index : rose 0.33 percent

* Gold futures : $1,743.6; rose 0.44 percent

* US crude : $92.15; rose 0.33 percent

* Brent crude : $115.51; fell 0.25 percent

* LME 3-month copper : $8,160; rose 0.81 percent

CANADIAN STOCKS TO WATCH

* Bombardier Inc. : The plane and train maker took another step toward breaking the Boeing-Airbus lock on the narrow body jet market Monday, saying it has begun assembling its rival CSeries jet, and that it is still on course to start flight-testing by year-end, despite concerns that timetable could slip.

* Nexen Inc. : Top Canadian bureaucrat, Simon Kennedy, involved in examining a landmark $15.1 billion bid by China’s CNOOC Ltd for the oil producer will take up another government job on Nov. 12, a hint that Ottawa will announce its decision on whether to approve the takeover before then.

ANALYST RECOMMENDATIONS

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

* Air Canada : BMO raises price target to C$2.50 from C$1.20 on improved visibility from cost-reduction opportunities and continued favorable revenue trends and the ability to defer pension funding requirements giving the company ample liquidity

* Baytex Energy Corp. : Barclays raises price target to C$54 from C$51 to reflect narrower heavy oil differentials and the company’s growth profile

* Petrobakken Energy Ltd. : Barclays cuts to equal weight from overweight citing concerns about the company’s volatile production profile

* Precious metals: Barclays starts coverage of Barrick Gold , Eldorado Gold Corp and Kinross Gold Corp with equal weight rating, on rising gold prices and a renewed focus from the gold companies on free cash flow generation above undisciplined production growth

* Vermilion Energy Inc. : Barclays raises to overweight from equal weight and raises price target to C$54 from C$51 on its production per share growth, excellent netbacks and a strong balancesheet

ON THE CALENDAR

* Major Canadian economic data includes manufacturing sales and foreign investment in Canadian securities

* Major U.S. events and data includes inflation, real earnings and industrial output

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