November 24, 2010 / 1:36 PM / 7 years ago

CANADA STOCKS-TSX to open flat on Ireland worries

Nov 24 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index looked set to open little changed despite uncertainty over Ireland’s plans to tackle its debts and fears the crisis could spread to other peripheral euro zone countries.

FACTORS TO WATCH

* Canadian equity futures <0#SXF:> point to a flat open.

* U.S. stock index futures edged higher as Wall Street looked to shift focus away from tensions on the Korean peninsula and European debt worries to U.S. data. [.N]

* European shares were higher, boosted by strong German business sentiment data. Trade was choppy amid concerns about Ireland’s debt crisis and political tension in Korea. [.EU]

* Asian stocks were mixed. The Nikkei fell after Tuesday’s North Korea’s shelling of a South Korean island and China and Hong Kong rebounded from multi-week lows on lower volumes as investors bought beaten down stocks such as bank- and commodity-related counters.

COMMODITY PRICE MOVES

* The Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB index .CRB, a global commodities benchmark, rose 0.30 percent in early trade.

* Oil edged above $81 a barrel, rising from a near week’s low on expectations of falling U.S. inventories. [O/R]

* Gold steadied as concern that Ireland’s debt crisis could spread pushed the euro price of bullion to its highest level since June. [GOL/]

CANADIAN STOCKS TO WATCH

* Research in Motion RIM.TO: Dubai-based Axiom Telecom, which this week launched the UAE’s first initial public offering for two years, signed a direct supply agreement with BlackBerry manufacturer. [ID:nLDE6AN08U]

* Enbridge Inc. (ENB.TO): High nominations by oil shippers, temporary capacity restrictions and unplanned maintenance on a troublesome U.S. pipeline have forced the pipeline company to ration more space on its crude oil transport network. [ID:nN23173962]

* Cameco Corp. (CCO.TO): The miner signed a long-term deal to supply 29 million pounds of uranium concentrate to China’s state-owned nuclear power company. [ID:nSGE6AN0DZ]

* Maple Leaf Foods (MFI.TO): Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan said on Tuesday it would sell its entire 25 percent stake in the company at a sharp discount, ending the fund’s longtime role in one of Canada’s top food processors. [ID:nN23163965]

ANALYST RECOMMENDATIONS

Following is a summary of research actions on Canadian companies reported by Reuters. [RCH/CA]

* Alimentation Couche Tard Inc (ATDb.TO) price target raised to C$28.50 from C$24; rating neutral at UBS

* MKS Inc MKX.TO rating raised to buy from neutral at Versant Partners

* ShaMaran Petroleum Corp SNM.V price target raised to C$1 from C$0.80; rating speculative buy at Canaccord Genuity ($1= $1.02 Canadian) (Reporting by Kishan Nair and Bangalore Newsroom; editing by Janet Guttsman)

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