CANADA STOCKS-TSX may open higher on strong U.S. earnings, data

Wed Oct 17, 2012 8:36am EDT
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Oct 17 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index looked set to open higher on Wednesday, as investor confidence was bolstered by stronger-than-expected U.S. earnings and housing data, and a decision by Moody's rating agency to affirm Spain's investment grade status.


* Groundbreaking on new U.S. homes surged in September to its fastest pace in more than four years, a sign the housing sector's budding recovery is gaining traction.

* Spain's government dodged a bullet when Moody's Investors Service affirmed its investment grade rating, assuaging widespread fears that the euro zone country would be cut to a junk rating.

* Potash Corp, the world's largest fertilizer maker, said its earnings for the full-year will be below the low end of its previous forecast range due to delays in new contracts with buyers in China and India.

* Exxon Mobil Corp said that it would acquire Canadian oil and gas company Celtic Exploration Ltd in a deal valued at about C$3.1 billion to expand its footprint within Canada.

* Penn West Petroleum Ltd said it has agreements in principle to sell some non-core properties for proceeds of up to C$1.3 billion to repay a portion of its debt.

* Bank of America Corp reported a $340 million third-quarter profit as a legal settlement and other previously disclosed charges dented its bottom line.

MARKET SNAPSHOT   Continued...