July 20, 2012 / 12:33 PM / 5 years ago

TSX may open lower, focus on Spain's bank bailout approval

July 20 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index looked set to open lower as markets remained cautious about the health of the global economy and euro zone ministers approve a Spanish bank bailout plan.

TOP STORIES

* General Electric reported a 2.5 percent rise in quarterly profit from continuing operations, just beating Wall Street forecasts, as solid U.S. demand for equipment used in energy production offset the effects of a weakening European economy.

* Euro zone finance ministers are expected to approve an agreement to lend up to 100 billion euros to Spain so it can recapitalize its banks, but the exact size of the loan will probably only be determined in September.

* Schlumberger Ltd, the world's largest oilfield services company, posted a rise in quarterly profit as revenue piles up outside North America and deepwater activity comes surging back.

* Canada's annual inflation sped up in June to 1.5 percent from 1.2 percent in May, as higher prices for passenger vehicles and electricity outweighed a drop in gasoline costs, Statistics Canada said on Friday.

* West Fraser Timber Co Ltd reported a second-quarter profit, on high lumber prices and strong demand from Asia.

MARKET SNAPSHOT

* Canada stock futures were down 0.81 percent

* U.S. stock futures , , were down around 0.3-0.7 percent

* European shares, were down

COMMODITY PRICE MOVES

* Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB Index : 302.75; fell 0.73 percent

* Gold futures : $1584.4; rose 0.27 percent

* US crude : $91.35; fell 1.42 percent

* Brent crude : $106.44; fell 1.26 percent

* LME 3-month copper : $7611.25; fell 1.54 percent

ANALYST RECOMMENDATIONS

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

* E&P: RBC cuts Western Energy Services price target to C$11 from C$15, Poseidon Concepts cut to C$18 from C$20, others cut due to conservative outlook for activity in the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin

* Kirkland Lake Gold Inc. : CIBC cuts price target to C$18 from C$20 to reflect evolving changes to the expansion timeline but rates sector outperformer on completion of convertible debenture

* Nexen Inc. : CIBC cuts price target to C$20 from C$21 on lower productivity concerns surrounding Usan oil well, rates sector outperformer on positive second-quarter results

* Shoppers Drug Mart Corp. : Barclays raises price target to C$44 from C$42 and rates equal weight on higher-than-forecast revenue and share buyback gradually contributing to EPS growth

* Suncor Energy : Stifel cuts price target of its US-listed shares to $38 from $42 citing lower price forecast for crude oil, but rates buy on valuation

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