July 31, 2013 / 12:53 PM / 4 years ago

CANADA STOCKS-TSX may open higher, U.S. Fed statement eyed

July 31 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index looked set to open higher on Wednesday as investors cautiously awaited a statement later in the day from the U.S Federal Reserve policy meeting, which could yield clues on how soon it will curb its monetary stimulus program.

TOP STORIES

* Honda Motor Co announced a lower than expected 5.1 percent rise in quarterly operating profit after sales in Japan dropped following the end of subsidies and as it lagged behind rivals in selling profitable SUVs and pickups in the U.S.

* Europe's EADS confirmed plans to reorganize in three divisions and change its name to Airbus, adopting the look and feel of its arch-rival Boeing in a bid to become more competitive.

* Talisman Energy Inc, the Canadian oil and gas company that is selling assets and refocusing its operations to deal with low natural gas prices, said its second-quarter profit fell 51 percent.

* Torstar Corp, owner of Canada's largest daily newspaper by circulation, reported a fifth straight fall in quarterly profit as print advertising revenue declined.

* Canadian Oil Sands Ltd, which owns the largest stake in the Syncrude Canada Ltd oil sands project in northern Alberta, said on Tuesday its quarterly profit more than doubled on higher oil production and strengthened prices, though it lowered its annual production estimate because of maintenance issues.

MARKET SNAPSHOT

* Canada stock futures traded up 0.26 percent

* U.S. stock futures , , were down around 0.07 percent and 0.14 percent

* European shares, were down

COMMODITY PRICE MOVES

* Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB Index : 282.4902; rose 0.1 percent

* Gold futures : $1,320.3; fell 0.28 percent

* US crude : $103.52; rose 0.43 percent

* Brent crude : $106.33; fell 0.54 percent

* LME 3-month copper : $6,794; rose 0.88 percent

CANADIAN STOCKS TO WATCH

* Keyera Corp : The company and Kinder Morgan Energy Partners LP announced on Tuesday a $98 million joint venture to build a crude oil rail-loading terminal in Edmonton, Alberta, one of the main storage hubs for Canada's oil sands.

* Manulife Financial Corp : CTBC Financial Holding Co Ltd, the parent of Taiwan's top credit card issuer, will acquire the local insurance unit of the company for less than T$1 billion, said a source with direct knowledge of the deal. ID:nT8N0FH00Q]

ANALYSTS' RECOMMENDATIONS

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

* Allana Potash Corp : Raymond James cuts to market perform from outperform and target to C$0.65 from C$1.25 on macro uncertainty.

* Progressive Waste Solutions : National Bank Financial raises target price to $27 from $25.50 after the company reported strong second-quarter results.

* Thomson Reuters Corp : National Bank Financial raises target price to C$33 from C$30, citing better-than-expected second-quarter earnings.

* Trinidad Drilling Ltd : Raymond James raises target price to C$10.75 from C$9.75 after the company inked a five-year take-or-pay contract for an ultra-high-specification 8,000-meter drilling rig.

* Westjet Airlines Ltd : Raymond James cuts target price to C$22 from C$24, says outlook remains uncertain.

ON THE CALENDAR

* Major Canadian economic data includes gross domestic product

* Major U.S. events and data includes gross domestic product

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