April 8, 2011 / 12:48 PM / 6 years ago

CANADA STOCKS-TSX set to open higher as oil, commodities rise

April 8 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index looked set to open higher on Friday, as expectations of strong demand and possible shortages helped push oil and other commodity prices higher.

FACTORS TO WATCH

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

* The Canadian dollar hit its highest level in over three years after traders digested the positive details of an initially disappointing jobs report. [CAD/]

* U.S. stock index futures rose, led by energy and material stocks, as optimism about increased economic demand pushed commodity prices higher. [.N]

* European shares headed for their highest close in more than a month, with miners up as metals prices were boosted by an improving economic outlook and a weaker dollar. [.EU]

* Asian markets were up but the Sensex bucked the trend closing 0.7 percent lower, as traders opted to book gains after the sharp gains in March.

COMMODITY PRICE MOVES

* The Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB index .CRB, a global commodities benchmark, rose 0.63 percent in early trade.

* Brent crude LCOc1 rose $2 after attacks on Libyan oil fields raised the prospect of long-term supply outages as the conflict appeared to move towards a stalemate. [O/R]

* Gold hit record highs and silver its strongest since early 1980 as the dollar slid to 15-month lows versus the euro, with concerns over euro zone debt and unrest in the Middle East region further supporting buying. [GOL/]

* Copper rose about 2 percent to its highest in a month as market sentiment improved with investors focusing on expectations of increasing demand. [MET/L]

CANADIAN STOCKS TO WATCH

* Teck Resources Ltd. TCKb.TO: Union workers at company's Elkview coal mine in British Columbia on Thursday ratified a five-year agreement, ending a more than two-month long strike at the site. [ID:nN07119693]

* Loblaw Cos (L.TO): The grocer said on Thursday it plans to buy back up to 5 percent of its shares outstanding through a normal course issuer bid. [ID:nN07292640]

* Equinox Minerals EQN.TO: The company said a $6.6 billion bid from China's Minmetals Resources was too low, leaving the door open to a rival offer as miners vie for access to valuable copper deposits. [ID:nL3E7F801Y]

ANALYST RECOMMENDATIONS

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

* Air Canada ACa.TO price target cut to C$4 from C$5.50 at CIBC

* Canadian National Railway Co (CNR.TO) price target raised to C$82 from C$80 at CIBC

* Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd (CP.TO) price target cut to C$68 from C$74 at CIBC

* Coastal Contacts Inc COA.TO price target raised to buy from hold at Octagon

* Open Range Energy Corp ONR.TO price target raised to C$6 from C$4.40; rating outperform at National Bank

* Surge Energy SGY.V price target raised to C$11.25 from C$11; rating outperform at National Bank

$1= $0.95 Canadian Reporting by Kishan Nair; editing by Jeffrey Hodgson

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