August 27, 2013 / 12:18 PM / 4 years ago

CANADA STOCKS-TSX may open lower, Syrian crisis raises concern

Aug 27 (Reuters) - Uncertainty surrounding possible U.S. military action against Bashar al-Assad’s Syrian government helped push Canadian stock index futures lower on Tuesday.

TOP STORIES

* Bank of Montreal’s third-quarter profit rose 17 percent, as the Canadian 4 bank benefited from higher insurance income and lower provisions for bad loans.

* Bank of Nova Scotia’s third-quarter profit fell 14 percent after a big gain from a sale in the year-before period, it said.

* British Prime Minister David Cameron said that a suspected chemical weapons attack in Syria was “absolutely abhorrent” and necessitated action from the international community with Britain considering a “proportionate response”.

* Hedge fund manager William Ackman, the biggest shareholder in J.C. Penney Co, said on Monday he had sold his entire stake after his campaign to overhaul the retailer failed.

* A pick-up in manufacturing drove German business sentiment to its highest level in 16 months in August, adding to evidence that Europe’s largest economy is bouncing back from a brief slowdown.

MARKET SNAPSHOT

* Canada stock futures traded down 0.26 percent

* U.S. stock futures , , were down around 0.8 percent to 0.56 percent

* European shares, were down

COMMODITY PRICE MOVES

* Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB Index : 295.3856; rose 0.66 percent

* Gold futures : $1,412; rose 1.36 percent

* US crude : $108.38; rose 2.32 percent

* Brent crude : $112.71; rose 1.79 percent

* LME 3-month copper : $7,344.75; fell 0.21 percent

CANADIAN STOCKS TO WATCH

* Semafo : Niger plans to bid for the gold miner’s 80 percent stake in the Samira Hill mine and to try to take full control of the project, the West African nation’s mining assets management company Sopamin said on Monday after Semafo suspended operations at the mine.

ANALYSTS’ RECOMMENDATIONS

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

* Alliance Grain Traders Inc : National Bank Financial cuts price target to C$15.50 from C$16, says low lentil prices are expected to put pressure on the company’s fees and margins.

* Esperanza Resources : Canaccord Genuity cuts rating to hold from speculative buy after the company’s share price rebounded as the uncertainty with respect to the Alamos Gold takeover bid was resolved on Friday after market.

* Newfoundland Capital Corporation Ltd : RBC raises price target to C$11 from C$10 after the company entered into an agreement to acquire five radio licences from Bell Media.

ON THE CALENDAR

* No major Canadian economic data scheduled for the day

* Major U.S. events and data includes consumer confidence

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