Aug 4 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index could open higher on Wednesday after stronger than expected U.S. economic data helped ease concerns about the global recovery.
U.S. stock futures SPc1 turned positive after data showed the private sector added slightly more jobs than expected in July. [.N]
Canadian equity futures also pointed to a higher open. <0#SXF:>. The Reuters-Jefferies CRB index .CRB, a global commodities benchmark, was up about 0.12 percent in early trade.
Earlier, global shares and the U.S. dollar were pressured by talk that recent weak economic data could prompt the U.S. Federal Reserve to start a new round of Treasuries purchases to pump funds into the economy.
Here is some news that could affect stock prices:
Oil fell on Wednesday for the first day in five as a rally that powered prices to three-month highs near $83 a day earlier lost steam, with little reaction to an attack on Iran’s president. [O/R]
Gold rose above $1,190 an ounce in Europe on Wednesday, benefiting from softer appetite for assets such as stocks and expectations of a rise in Chinese demand, though an ongoing dearth of safe-haven demand capped gains. [GOL/]
Canadian stocks to watch include:
RIM unveiled a new BlackBerry on Tuesday, aimed at wooing consumers away from Apple’s (AAPL.O) iPhone and other rivals, but analysts said the handset won’t blow away the competition. [ID:nN03163111]
Separately, the makers of the BlackBerry smartphone held last-ditch talks with Saudi Arabia on Wednesday to avert a threatened cut-off of a key service while India took a tough line with the Canadian company. [ID:nLDE6730RK]
AGRIUM INC (AGU.TO)
The Canadian fertilizer maker reported a rise in quarterly profit on Wednesday, aided by higher retail crop nutrient gross profit and wholesale potash sales volumes. [ID:nSGE6730HZ]
FORTIS INC (FTS.TO)
The Canadian utility company on Wednesday reported a 4 percent rise in quarterly profit, helped by growth at its regulated gas and electric utility businesses. [ID:nSGE6730I7]
ATS Automation Tooling Systems Inc’s quarterly profit jumped more than 20-fold as margins improved at its automation systems group, and the company said it engaged advisors to assist in separating its solar energy unit, Photowatt Technologies. [ID:nSGE6730GT]
Western Coal Corp reported a six-fold growth in quarterly profit late on Tuesday, but said it expects metallurgical coal demand to decline during the third quarter on account of easing global steel production. [ID:nSGE6730FP]
MERCER INTERNATIONAL INC MRIu.TO
Mercer International on Tuesday posted a quarterly profit, helped by stronger pulp prices. [ID:nSGE6720O1]
SAMUEL MANU-TECH INC (SMT.TO)
Canadian steel and plastic distributor on Tuesday posted a quarterly profit, helped by better performances at its packaging and metal processing segments. [ID:nSGE6720O7]
MEDIAGRIF INTERACTIVE TECHNOLOGIES INC (MDF.TO)
Mediagrif Interactive Technologies posted a quarterly profit on Tuesday, as the company was able to put a lid on its operating expenses. [ID:nSGE6720OY]
JAZZ AIR INCOME FUND JAZ_u.TO
Jazz Air posted a 39 percent drop in quarterly profit, partly hurt by a rise in fuel costs. [ID:nSGE6720NT]
TSO3 INC (TOS.TO)
The company, which designs sterilization technology for medical devices, on Wednesday posted a narrower second-quarter loss, helped by a 12 percent drop in expenses, and said its chief financial officer will be leaving the company. [ID:nSGE6730GP]
Following is a summary of research actions on Canadian companies reported by Reuters. [RCH/CA]
Note: All values in RESEARCH ROUNDUP in Canadian currency, unless otherwise stated.
* Canyon Services Group Inc FRC.TO target price raised to C$8.50 from C$5.75; rating strong buy at Raymond James.
* Talisman Energy TLM.TO rating raised to outperform from market perform at Raymond James.
* UTS Energy UTS.TO rating cut to market perform from outperform on valuation at Raymond James.
$1=$1.02 Canadian Reporting by Bangalore newsroom, editing by Bhaswati Mukhopadhyay and Jeffrey Hodgson