December 8, 2010 / 1:50 PM / in 7 years

CANADA STOCKS-TSX may open little changed; commodity prices dip

Dec 8 (Reuters) - Toronto’s resource-heavy main stock index, which touched its strongest level in two years on Tuesday, looked set to open little changed on Wednesday as commodity prices retreated from recent highs.

FACTORS TO WATCH

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

* U.S. stock index futures were little changed, pressured by rising bond yields and a stronger dollar. [.N]

* European shares rose slightly by midday, with a major index holding above a key technical level, as gains in insurers more than offset falls in heavyweight miners as the dollar edged up. [.EU]

* Markets in Asia were largely lower but Nikkei ended 0.9 percent higher as stronger dollar encouraged buying.

COMMODITY PRICE MOVES

* The Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB index .CRB, a global commodities benchmark, fell 0.27 percent in early trade.

* Oil fell for a second day as a spike in U.S. Treasury yields boosted the dollar while a report showed a larger-than-expected increase in U.S. gasoline stockpiles. [O/R]

* Gold prices eased below $1,400 an ounce in Europe as the dollar rallied after a spike in U.S. bond yields, prompting more investors to cash in gains after the previous day’s record peak. [GOL/]

* Copper prices eased after hitting a record high above $9,000 a tonne in the previous session as a firmer dollar prompted more investors to sell the red metal and worries of potential rate hikes in China weighed. [MET/L]

CANADIAN STOCKS TO WATCH

* Bombardier Inc. (BBDb.TO): The civil aircraft maker said it got orders worth about $155 million for seven business jets from Munich-based airline Jet Air Flug. [ID:nSGE6B708C]

* Encana Corp. (ECA.TO): The natural gas producer said on Wednesday it received approval from the Toronto Stock Exchange for its share buyback program. [ID:nSGE6B708O]

* Major Drilling Group International Inc. (MDI.TO): The mine drilling company reported on Wednesday second-quarter profit that beat analyst’s estimates, helped by higher rig utilization rates. [ID:nSGE6B708L]

* QLT Inc. QLT.TO: The pharmaceutical company that specializes in developing treatments for eye diseases said on Tuesday its LT091001 treatment has received orphan drug designation from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. [ID:nN07253004]

* Research in Motion Ltd. RIM.TO: The blackberry maker said the software in its forthcoming tablet will eventually find its way into its flagship BlackBerry line of smartphones. [ID:nN07105382]

* Evertz Technologies Ltd. (ET.TO): The broadcast equipment company on Tuesday posted higher second-quarter results, helped in part by a surge in international sales. [ID:nSGE6B50M5]

* Trilogy Energy Corp. TET.TO: The petroleum and natural gas company on Tuesday said it expects capital expenditure of C$130 million for 2011, mainly on drilling activities at its Kaybob and Grand Prairie assets in the Alberta province of western Canada. [ID:nSGE6B60D6]

* Enbridge Inc. (ENB.TO): The pipeline company has been forced temporarily to disrupt oil flows on pipelines that feed crude onto its main system as restrictions on its U.S. network back volumes up in western Canada, a spokeswoman said on Tuesday. [ID:nN0799975]

* Eldorado Gold (ELD.TO): The mining company said on Tuesday it has resumed construction at its Eastern Dragon project in China and the gold and silver mine is expected to start producing in late 2011. [ID:nN0797803]

* WestJet Airlines Ltd. (WJA.TO): The airline company denied on Tuesday it was in talks with Dubai-based carrier Emirates on an alliance. [ID:nN0797353]

ANALYST RECOMMENDATIONS

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

* Baytex Energy Trust BTE_u.TO price target raised to C$46 from C$42; rating outperform at Raymond James

* BMO (BMO.TO) price target raised by C$3 to C$65; rating market perform at KBW

* Evertz (ET.TO) rating cut to market perform from outperform at Raymond James

* Trilogy Energy TET.TO price target raised to C$13.50 from C$12.50 rating outperform at RBC

$1= $1.01 Canadian Reporting by Kishan Nair and Bangalore Newsroom; Editing by Jeffrey Hodgson

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