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May 3 (Reuters) - Firmer commodity prices could lift Toronto's main stock index on Monday, but gains could be limited by concerns about the oil spill in the U.S.
Mining stocks could be in focus after the Australian government said it planned to slap a 40 percent tax on mining profits as commodity prices soar.
With no economic data set for release, investors will keep a tab on Wall Street, which is also set for higher open on news that UAL Corp UAUA.O will buy Continental Airlines Inc (CAL.N) to form the world's largest airline. [.N]
European shares edged lower on concerns that a massive bailout package for Greece may face political obstacles and on doubts that Athens can implement tough austerity measures agreed in exchange for aid.
Asian equities fell after China on Sunday increased the amount that lenders must keep in reserve at the central bank as it struggles to temper inflationary pressures, its third such move this year.
Markets in the United Kingdom, China and Japan are among those that are closed today.
Here is some news that could affect stock prices:
Oil edged above $86 a barrel, gaining for a fourth session, balanced by concerns about the oil spill in the United States and doubts about a massive bailout package for Greece. [O/R]
Gold rose to a 2010 high in Europe, with prices keeping their safe-haven cachet, as a 110 billion-euro aid plan for Greece failed to quell wider concerns on euro zone debt. [GOL/]
Canada's dollar rose against the U.S. currency on Monday as commodity prices were higher and U.S. stock index futures signaled strength at the open, suggesting investors were willing to take on more risk. [CAD/]
Australian mining shares tumbled on Monday after the government slapped a 40 percent tax on mining profits to fund a boost to workers' incomes in an election year, sparking warnings that huge new investments could be lost. [ID:nSGE64200]
UAL Corp UAUA.O, parent of United Airlines, said it will buy Continental Airlines Inc (CAL.N) for about $3.17 billion in stock, forming the world's largest carrier and further shrinking the U.S. airline industry. [ID:nN02143069]
Canada's energy sector will have to wrestle with a period of oil pipeline overcapacity, but TransCanada Corp's (TRP.TO) new Keystone system won't be affected, executives said on Friday. [ID:nN29127454]
General Growth Properties Inc's (GGP.N) board was expected to have voted this weekend to choose between rival recapitalization offers from Brookfield Asset Management (BAMa.TO) and Simon Property Group Inc (SPG.N), a source familiar with the situation said on Saturday. [ID:nN01168578]
Shares in miner Goldcorp (G.TO) could climb since they have been trading at 1.5 times net asset value over the past year, compared to the industry average of 1.75 times, Barron's reports. [ID:nN02168817]
Oil and gas company Bellamont Exploration Ltd BMXa.V said it raised its year-end production outlook by 8 percent, citing a C$5 million ($4.95 million) increase in its 2010 capital budget and successful drilling so far in the year. [ID:nSGE6420FN]
Kingsway Financial Services Inc (KFS.TO) said Pennsylvania Insurance Department has filed a notice of appeal to Pennsylvania Supreme Court relating to the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania's decision to dismiss all claims against Kingsway and Kingsway America Inc challenging the disposition of Lincoln General Insurance Co. Kingsway said it will oppose the appeal. [ID:nWNAB5092]
A unit of The Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS.TO), Scotiabank de Puerto Rico, acquired the operations of R-G Premier Bank of Puerto Rico. The acquisition was $5.6 billion in assets including $5.3 billion in loans and $2.2 billion in deposits. [ID:nN30211197]
Following is a summary of research actions on Canadian companies reported by Reuters on Friday. [RCH/CA]
Note: All values in RESEARCH ROUNDUP in Canadian currency, unless otherwise stated.
* Breakwater Resources BWR.TO price target raised to $0.60 from $0.50; rating outperform at Raymond James
* Parex Resources PXT.V rating raised to outperform from market perform at Raymond James
* RioCan REIT (REI_u.TO) rating raised to outperform from market perform at Raymond James
$1=$1.01 Canadian Reporting by Bangalore newsroom, editing by Savio D'Souza and Jeffrey Hodgson