March 8, 2010 / 1:17 PM / in 7 years

CANADA STOCKS-Resources may prop up TSX, BCE in focus

TORONTO, March 8 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock market index may open higher on Monday as firm oil and metal prices help prop up the resource-laden market.

Canadian mining companies could also attract some attention as hundreds of juniors will vie to attract the interest of investors and large miners at the PDAC Convention, one of the sector's largest annual gatherings that opened in Toronto on Sunday.[ID:nN04173616]

Canadian telecommunications shares could see activity on Monday following a positive report on BCE Inc (BCE.TO) in an influential U.S. business publication.

Toronto's main stock index jumped to its highest in more than seven weeks on Friday after data showed the U.S. economy shed fewer jobs than expected last month, offering more evidence of economic recovery.[ID:nN05251123]

Here is some of the news that may affect the market.

GOLD FIRM

Gold prices firmed in Europe on Monday as the dollar retreated against the euro, with risk appetite sharpened by last week's firmer-than-expected U.S. jobs data and concerns over Greece's fiscal health retreating.[ID:nLDE6270WQ]

OIL HIGHER

Oil rose towards $82 a barrel on Monday, but pared an earlier gain to an eight-week high, supported by a weaker dollar and signs of economic recovery in the United States, the top oil consumer.[ID:nTOE62705D]

BASE METALS

Copper rose on Monday as above consensus jobs data in the United States boosted hopes of stronger economic recovery there, and inventories fell.[ID:nLDE6270PQ]

BCE INC

Shares in Canada's BCE Inc (BCE.TO) could rise 10 percent over the next year, according to a report in Barron's, which cited the operator's potential for dividend increases and share buybacks.[ID:nN07134941]

ABITIBOWATER

AbitibiBowater Inc ABWTQ.PK has reached a tentative labor deal affecting about 4,000 workers, bringing the newsprint maker closer to emerging from bankruptcy protection, the company and union said on Sunday. [ID:nN07136670]

VALE INCO

Contract talks between Brazilian iron ore miner Vale's (VALE5.SA) Vale Inco unit and the United Steelworkers (USW) union representing staff at its Sudbury and Port Colborne locations in Ontario, Canada, have broken down, both sides said on Sunday.[ID:nN07144036]

RESEARCH ROUNDUP

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

* Desjardins raises Tim Hortons Inc THI.TO target to C$36 from C$35; Rating Buy

* RBC raises SNC-Lavalin Group (SNC.TO) price target to C$57 from C$54; Rating Outperform

* Thomas Weisel cuts Yamana Gold (AUY.N) price target to $13 from $14.50; Rating Market Weight ($1=$1.03 Canadian) (Reporting by Scott Anderson, Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

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