November 1, 2010 / 12:48 PM / in 7 years

CANADA STOCKS-TSX may open higher; commodities up on China data

Nov 1 (Reuters) - Toronto’s resource-heavy main stock index looked set to open higher on Monday, supported by rising commodity prices and surprisingly strong manufacturing data from China, the world’s biggest resource consumer.

FACTORS TO WATCH

* Canadian equity futures <0#SXF:> pointed to a higher open.

* U.S. stock index futures rose, buoyed by strong Chinese manufacturing data as investors awaited a new batch of economic reports to kick off a week marked by mid-term elections and the U.S. Federal Reserve’s monetary policy meeting. [.N]

* China’s factories ramped up their production last month and were buoyed by an influx of new business, highlighting the strength of the world’s second-largest economy but also pointing to price pressures. [ID:nTOE6A001P]

* European shares rose, with miners gaining on higher metals prices after surprisingly strong Chinese manufacturing data, and as the dollar weakened ahead of the U.S. Federal Reserve’s likely monetary easing. [.EU]

* Most markets in Asia rose with the exception of Japan’s Nikkei, which hit a seven-week closing low hurt by disappointing earnings report by Honda Motors and strengthening yen.

COMMODITY PRICE MOVES

* The Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB index .CRB, a global commodities benchmark, rose 0.55 percent in early trade.

* Oil rose to around $82 a barrel as expectations the U.S. Federal Reserve would commit to a new round of monetary stimulus this week prompted further weakness in the dollar. [O/R]

* Gold rose above $1,360 an ounce in Europe, building on three consecutive months of gains, as expectations the Federal Reserve will unveil further U.S. monetary easing at a meeting on Nov. 2/3 pressured the dollar. [GOL/]

* Base metals prices rallied 2 percent on average in London and Shanghai, with support from a softer dollar, which weakened for a third day ahead of this week’s pivotal Federal Reserve meeting. [MET/L]

CANADIAN STOCKS TO WATCH

* Potash Corp. (POT.TO): BHP Billiton is planning to raise its $39 billion hostile bid for the largest fertilizer supplier the Sunday Times reported, citing sources close to the situation. A person familiar with the situation, however, said BHP was focused on clearing regulatory hurdles, including winning approval from the Canadian government, before it does anything else. [ID:nLDE6A00HD].

* Angiotech Pharmaceuticals ANP.TO: The specialty pharmaceutical and medical device maker had come to a deal with its debt holders that will reduce its total debt by $250 million. [ID:nN29262816].

* Nexen Inc. NXY.TO: The independent oil producer had struck a deal with Ensco Plc. over the disputed contract for a newly built deepwater rig. [ID:nN29248578]

* Orvana Minerals Corp. (ORV.TO): The junior miner which operates a gold mine in Bolivia, said the South American country will conduct an audit of the legal, financial and accounting information of its unit. [ID:nSGE69S0LI]

* Sterling Resources Ltd. (SLG.V): The oil and gas company on Monday ended its farm-in agreement with U.K.-based Melrose Resources Plc for its blocks in Romania, but said it plans to move forward with offshore activities with other assignees. [ID:nSGE6A00H1]

ANALYST RECOMMENDATIONS

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

* Boralex Inc. (BLX.TO) rating raised to buy; price target to C$11 from C$10 at Versant

* CGI Group GIBa.TO rating raised to outperform from market perform at Raymond James

* Creston Moly CMS.V price target raised to C$0.70 from C$0.55; rating buy at Versant

* Heroux Devtek (HRX.TO) rating cut to outperform from strong buy at Raymond James

$1= $1.02 Canadian Reporting by Bangalore Newsroom; Editing by Jeffrey Hodgson

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