June 28, 2011 / 12:47 PM / 6 years ago

CANADA STOCKS-TSX may open higher as commodity prices strengthen

June 28 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index looked set to open higher on Tuesday as stronger commodity prices offset some cautious sentiment ahead of crucial votes in the Greek parliament over austerity measures needed to stave off a debt default.

The European Union warned Greek lawmakers their country faced immediate default unless they approve a hated austerity plan, as strikers began new mass protests against the EU/IMF-imposed measures. [ID:nL6E7HS1GR]

FACTORS TO WATCH

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

* U.S. stock index futures were mostly flat as investors were reluctant to make bets after a rally in the previous session and waited to see if the Greek parliament would adopt a deeply unpopular austerity plan. [.N]

* European equities edged lower ahead of a crucial vote on unpopular austerity measures by Greece’s parliament linked to more aid, while a slump in Cable & Wireless Worldwide CWP.L led telecom shares down. [.EU]

* Asian stocks were mostly up with Hong Kong and China finishing largely flat with declining volumes as Chinese banks holding hefty local government debt was seen as unattractive in the near term even as market players remain optimistic about China’s economy.

COMMODITY PRICE MOVES

* The Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB index .CRB, a global commodities benchmark, rose 0.56 percent in early trade.

* Oil rose as an agreement by France to roll over holdings of mature Greek debt supported appetite for riskier assets like commodities. [O/R]

* Gold rose back above $1,500 an ounce in Europe, recovering in line with oil prices as hopes that Greece’s debt crisis may be contained tempered risk aversion, and after the euro regained some ground. [GOL/]

* Copper edged up as an agreement by French banks to rollover Greek debt boosted the euro but caution remained ahead of Greece’s vote on austerity measures later in the week. [MET/L]

CANADIAN STOCKS TO WATCH

* Petrobank Energy and Resources Ltd PBG.TO: The oil and natural gas explorer said the potential recoverable bitumen resources at its May River project in the western Canadian province of Alberta had risen 11 percent. [ID:nL3E7HS1PB]

* TransCanada Corp. (TRP.TO): Engineering and construction services firm Willbros Group Inc said it will get $61 million in cash, following the settlement of a $71.2 million payment dispute with the company. [ID:nL3E7HR36X]

* Agnico-Eagle Mines (AEM.TO): The company said on Monday that production at its Meadowbank gold mine should rise by 50 percent in the second half of 2011, after being hit by a kitchen fire in March that crippled staffing levels. [ID:nN1E75Q1UG]

* Ballard Power Systems Inc. BLD.TO: The company said it is not considering any significant investment in an Indian corporation as rumored in recent media reports. [ID:nL3E7HR305]

ANALYST RECOMMENDATIONS

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

* Chemtrade Logistics Income Fund (CHE_u.TO) coverage reinstated with sector performer and $16 price target at CIBC.

$1= $0.99 Canadian Reporting by Anil Kumar; Editing by Jeffrey Hodgson

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