August 8, 2012 / 12:47 PM / in 5 years

CANADA STOCKS-TSX may open lower; euro zone data weighs

Aug 8 (Reuters) - Canada’s resource-heavy main stock index looked set to open lower on Wednesday, led by a fall in commodity prices, as appetite for riskier assets lost steam on disappointing euro zone data and doubts about early central bank action to tackle declining global growth.

TOP STORIES

* German imports fell sharply for the second time in three months in June and exports also dropped, data showed, adding to signs the single currency bloc’s crisis is beginning to hurt Europe’s largest economy.

* Britain’s economy will barely grow this year and may have taken a bigger hit from the euro zone debt crisis than thought, the Bank of England said, but it gave little indication that it would rush to pour further stimulus into the economy.

* BCE Inc reported a surge in its quarterly profit on Wednesday, as strong results from its wireless and media arms spurred Canada’s largest telecom player to also lift its full-year earnings outlook and dividend payout.

* Air Canada said operating earnings fell 14 percent for the second quarter as labor disruptions and closure of its plane maintenance contractor weighed on the results.

* Canadian miner Nevsun Resources Ltd’s quarterly profit rose 12 percent as it realized higher prices for gold sold, and the company raised its gold production forecast for the year.

MARKET SNAPSHOT

* Canada stock futures traded down 0.32 percent

* U.S. stock futures , , were down in the range of -0.04 percent to -0.26 percent

* European shares, were down

COMMODITY PRICE MOVES

* Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB Index : 302.79; fell 0.36 percent

* Gold futures : $1,603.3; fell 0.4 percent

* US crude : $93.27; fell 0.42 percent

* Brent crude : $111.43; fell 0.51 percent

* LME 3-month copper : $7,517.5; fell 0.82 percent

CANADIAN STOCKS TO WATCH

* Surge Energy Inc. : The oil and gas company’s second-quarter profit jumped four-fold on higher oil and natural gas liquids production.

* Enbridge Inc. : The pipeline operator on Tuesday restarted an oil pipeline that ships Canadian crude to Chicago area refiners, 11 days after it spilled more than 1,000 barrels of crude onto a Wisconsin field.

* BCE Inc. : Three cable companies have banded together to call on Canadian regulators to block BCE Inc’s planned C$3 billion takeover of Astral Media arguing the deal would reduce competition and lead to higher fees for viewers. In a press conference on Tuesday, the chief executives of Cogeco Cable Inc, Eastlink and Quebecor Inc said the Astral deal would harm the broadcasting industry and lead to higher costs for programming services.

* Endeavour Mining Corp. : The company said it will buy Avion Gold Corp for C$389 million in an all-stock deal as it looks to expand in West Africa.

* Allied Nevada Gold Corp. The gold miner posted a 69 percent rise in quarterly profit on higher gold prices and lower costs.

* Brookfield Residential Properties Inc. : The North American homebuilder reported a 16 percent increase in second-quarter profit on improved selling prices and higher order bookings.

* Trilogy Energy Corp. : The natural gas-focused company’s second-quarter profit plunged on weak natural gas prices and the company cut its production forecast for the full year.

* Chinook Urban Mining : A consortium including Chinook Urban Mining and JP Morgan has made a 520 million pound cash offer for British waste manager Biffa, the Guardian reported.

ANALYST RECOMMENDATIONS

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

* Agrium : RBC raises target price to $125 from $120 on its U.S. listed stock citing company’s outlook and the share repurchase program announcement, rates outperform

* Brookfield Renewable : CIBC raises target price to C$29.50 from C$28 on the long-term portfolio and dividend growth expected from the fund

* Canam : NBF raises price target to C$5.75 from C$5 after the company posted better-than-expected second-quarter results, rates sector perform

* Petrominerales : CIBC cuts target to C$14 from C$19.50 due to the lack of certainty on future growth, rates sector performer

* TVA : CIBC cuts target price to C$10 from C$12 after the company reported weak second-quarter results, rates sector perform

ON THE CALENDAR

* No major Canadian economic data scheduled for release

* Major U.S. events and data includes productivity and unit labor costs

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