August 9, 2010 / 1:00 PM / 7 years ago

CANADA STOCKS-TSX may open higher on commodity strength

Aug 9 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index looked set to open higher on Monday, with stronger commodity prices likely to boost the resource-heavy market.

Canadian equity futures pointed to a higher open. <0#SXF:>. The Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB index .CRB, a global commodities benchmark, was up 0.48 percent in early trade.

Wall Street is also set for a higher open on expectations that the U.S. Federal Reserve will renew its promise of keeping interest rates near zero for "an extended period" on Tuesday and signal that it is prepared to throw more money at the flagging economic recovery. [.N]

European shares rose above key resistance levels, with commodity stocks leading the risers, supported by stronger metal and oil prices.

Asian stocks edged higher, while Nikkei bucked the trend as stronger yen weighed on exporters after the dollar approached a 15-year low against the yen.

Here is some news that could affect stock prices:

OIL RISES

Oil climbed above $81 a barrel on Monday, extending last week's two percent rise, as weakness in the dollar and geopolitical tensions continued to provide support, despite doubts about the strength of the U.S. economy. [O/R]

COPPER CLIMBS

Copper rose on Monday as falling stocks and improving expectations for global demand countered disappointing jobs data from the United States. [MET/L]

GOLD FIRMS

Gold rose on Monday as uncertainty hit the market ahead of a U.S. Federal Reserve policy meeting this week, with soft economic data sparking speculation that the Fed may announce additional monetary easing measures. [GOL/]

Canadian stocks to watch include:

RESEARCH IN MOTION RIM.TO

The BlackBerry maker and Saudi mobile firms are testing three servers to send communications and data through Saudi Arabia before Canada to address Riyadh's concerns over security, a Saudi official said on Sunday. [ID:nLDE6770AQ]

TRANSCANADA CORP (TRP.TO)

TransCanada's keystone oil pipeline from Canada to the U.S. Midwest is "halfway" to full capacity of 435,000 barrels per day, a spokesman said on Friday. [ID:nN06175863]

VERMILION ENERGY TRUST VET_u.TO

Vermilion Energy Trust on Monday reported a 76 percent increase in quarterly profit, helped by stronger oil prices. [ID:nSGE6780ER]

AECON GROUP INC (ARE.TO)

Aecon Group said on Monday it entered into a letter of intent to acquire assets of Canadian oil sands services company Cow Harbour Construction Ltd for about C$180 million ($174.7 million), in a bid to expand its mining clients base in Alberta. [ID:nSGE6780CS]

MENU FOODS INCOME FUND MEW_u.TO

Simmons Pet Food Inc is to buy Canada's Menu Foods Income Fund MEW_u.TO for about C$239 million, including the assumption of debt, Menu Foods said on Monday. [ID:nSGE67807Z]

ENSIGN ENERGY SERVICES INC (ESI.TO)

The Canadian oilfield services provider on Monday posted quarterly results below market estimates, hurt in part by higher operating costs. [ID:nSGE6780CJ]

VERO ENERGY INC VRO.TO

Vero Energy posted a surprise quarterly profit, helped by increased production volumes and average realized prices, and said it remains on track to meet its 2010 average production forecast. [ID:nSGE6780EX]

GLG LIFE TECH Corp (GLG.TO)

Canadian life sciences company reported a second-quarter loss, hurt mainly by higher expenses. [ID:nSGE6780E4]

RESEARCH ROUNDUP

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

* Allied Properties REIT (AP_u.TO) rating cut to market perform from outperform at Raymond James

* Canadian REIT (REF_u.TO) price target raised to C$32 from C$30.50; rating outperform at RBC

* Easy Home Ltd EH.TO price target raised to C$16 from C$12; rating outperform at Raymond James

* Fairborne Energy FEL.TO price target raised to C$6.50 from C$6; rating outperform at Raymond James

* First Capital Realty FCR.TO price target raised to C$15.25; rating outperform at Raymond James

* Primaris Retail REIT PMZ_u.TO price target raised to C$19.50 from C$18; rating outperform at RBC

* Shawcor SCLa.TO price target cut to C$33.50 from C$34; rating sector perform at National Bank Financial =

$1=$1.03 Canadian Reporting by Bangalore newsroom, editing by Bhaswati Mukhopadhyay and Jeffrey Hodgson

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