May 16, 2012 / 1:02 PM / 5 years ago

CANADA STOCKS-TSX set to open higher after Merkel comments

May 16 (Reuters) - Canada's resource heavy main stock index was set to open higher on Wednesday, after sinking to a seven-month low the previous session, after comments from German Chancellor Angela Merkel about keeping Greece in the euro zone encouraged investors.

TOP STORIES

* In an interview with CNBC, German Chancellor Angela Merkel reiterated that Germany wants Greece to stay in the euro, but warned that the country must play by the rules and honor its commitments.

* Greece's president spoke of "fear that could develop into panic" at the country's banks in the weeks before fresh elections that could precipitate Athens exit from the euro zone.

* Sears Canada Inc reported a first-quarter profit, helped by a one-off gain on lease terminations and lower costs.

* The JPMorgan Chase & Co. unit that lost more than $2 billion through a failed hedging strategy had looser risk controls than the rest of the bank, according to people familiar with the situation.

* Facebook Inc increased the size of its initial public offering by almost 25 percent, and could raise as much as $16 billion as strong investor demand for a share of the No.1 social network trumps debate about its long-term potential to make money.

MARKET SNAPSHOT

* Canada stock futures traded up 0.17 percent

* U.S. stock futures , , were up around 0.5 percent

* European shares, were up

COMMODITY PRICE MOVES

* Thomson Reuters-Jeffries CRB Index : 288.11; fell 0.36 percent

* Gold Futures : $1537.5; fell 1.24 percent

* US Crude : $92.86; fell 1.19 percent

* Brent Crude : $111.57; fell 0.6 percent

* LME 3-month Copper : $7678; fell 1.12 percent

CANADIAN STOCKS TO WATCH

* Canadian Zinc Corp. : The company said it expects capital spending at its main project, the Prairie Creek Mine in the Northwest Territories, to be more than expected due to the addition of more features and an increase in costs.

* Birchcliff Energy Ltd. : The natural gas producer reported a 61 percent fall in quarterly profit and said lower prices for the fuel has complicated its growth plans.

* Brookfield Asset Management : The company will spin off its commercial real estate holdings into a new company that will be listed on the New York and Toronto stock exchanges in the second half of the year, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing on Tuesday.

ANALYST RECOMMENDATIONS

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

* Cominar REIT : Macquarie raises target price to C$25.50 from C$24.50 on achievement of an investment grade rating

* Fortress Paper : Canaccord Genuity cuts target price to C$42 from C$50 on weaker-than-expected 1st-quarter results; rating buy

* International Tower Hill Mines : Canaccord cuts to hold from speculative buy, cuts price target to C$3.40 from C$9.90 after its CEO quit the company

* Power Corp of Canada : Barclays cuts price target to C$26 from C$27 to reflect lower earnings expectations for the company

* RBC TD Bank National Bank of Canada CIBC Bank of Nova Scotia Bank of Montreal <BMO.TO. Canaccord Genuity cuts price targets on slipping mortgage growth.

ON THE CALENDAR

* Major Canadian economic data includes manufacturing sales

* Major U.S. events and data include FOMC minutes, housing starts and industrial output.

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