August 17, 2010 / 1:09 PM / 7 years ago

CANADA STOCKS-TSX set to open higher on Potash Corp bid

Aug 17 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index was set to open higher on Tuesday, boosted by an unsolicited $38.6 billion bid for Potash Corp of Saskatchewan (POT.TO), one of the largest and highest profile resource companies listed on the exchange.

Potash Corp said its board rejected the blockbuster bid from BHP Billiton’s (BHP.AX) (BLT.L), terming it as “grossly inadequate.” [ID:nSGE67G0DT]

But the offer raised the prospect of a higher bid for the company and other merger and acquisition deals in Canada’s resource sector, which should boost stock prices.

Potash Corp shares jumped 30 percent to $145.25 in pre-market trade on the New York Stock Exchange, well above BHP’s offer price of $130 a share.

OTHER FACTORS TO WATCH

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

* U.S. stock index futures rose on Tuesday after bellwether retailers Wal-Mart (WMT.N) and Home Depot (HD.N) posted better-than-expected quarterly profits, but Wal-Mart cautioned about the strength of the U.S. consumer. [.N]

* European shares rose on Tuesday as Aegon (AEGN.AS) pushed insurers higher after the European Union approved its recapitalisation. [.EU]

* Major markets in Asia rose but Nikkei bucked the trend to close at its lowest in more than eight months.

COMMODITY PRICE MOVES

* The Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB index .CRB, a global commodities benchmark, rose 0.47 percent in early trade.

* Oil snapped a five-day losing streak to rebound above $76 a barrel on Tuesday as firmer equity markets and a weaker dollar outweighed concerns about the pace of global economic recovery. [O/R]

* Gold briefly touched its highest level in nearly two months on Tuesday, boosted by a weak dollar and expectations of further buying by investors concerned about financial stability and looking for perceived safe haven assets. [GOL/]

* Expectations of strong physical demand and a weaker dollar drove copper to a one-week high on Tuesday, despite growing doubts about economic growth prospects in the United States, the world’s largest economy. [MET/L]

CANADIAN STOCKS TO WATCH

* Agrium Inc (AGU.TO): The Canadian fertilizer maker said on Tuesday it did not have any “specific plans” to break up Australian grains firm AWB AWB.AX if its $1.1 billion takeover bid was successful. [ID:nSGE67G00Y]

* Research In Motion RIM.TO RIMM.O: RIM has assured India of limited access to BlackBerry instant messages by Sept. 1, and promised talks this week on monitoring its more secure corporate email, a government source said on Monday. [ID:nSGE67F0KO]

* Enbridge Inc (ENB.TO): Enbridge has cut oil flows by 8 percent on a major pipeline that is an alternative to the one that ruptured in Michigan last month, an executive said on Monday, as the company waits for regulators to respond to its reworked plan to restart the downed line. [ID:nN16270522]

* Cisco Systems (CSCO.O): Cisco Systems has filed a patent complaint in a U.S. court against Mosaid Technologies MSD.TO in a dispute over royalties, the Canadian patent licensing firm said on Monday. [ID:nN16273183]

* Forbes Energy Services Ltd FRB.TO: The oilfield services contractor on Monday posted a narrower quarterly loss beating its prior outlook, helped mainly by higher utilization and pricing in its key divisions, which it expects to continue for the rest of the year. [ID:nSGE67F0KW]

ANALYST RECOMMENDATIONS

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

* Anvil Mining AVM.TO cut target price to C$5 from C$5.50; rating outperform at Raymond James

* Avenir Diversified Income Trust AVF_u.TO target price cut to C$5.75 from C$6; rating outperform at Raymond James

* Bankers Petroleum BNK.TO resumed with outperform rating at Macquarie

* Taseko Mines (TKO.TO) target price raised to C$7.50 from C$7; rating outperform at Raymond James

* Xtreme Coil Drilling (XDC.TO) target price raised to C$3.60 from C$3.40; rating sector perform at National Bank Financial

$1=$1.04 Canadian Dollar Reporting by Bangalore newsroom, editing by Bhaswati Mukhopadhyay and Jeffrey Hodgson

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