July 15, 2011 / 12:30 PM / 6 years ago

CANADA STOCKS-TSX may open higher; Citi offsets global debt woes

July 15 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index looked set to open slightly higher on Friday, as news of a stronger profit at U.S. lender Citigroup and major deal in the energy sector offset fears about U.S. and European debt levels.

FACTORS TO WATCH

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

* U.S. stock index futures added to gains after Citigroup (C.N) reported earnings for the second quarter and BHP Billiton’s (BLT.L) $12 billion offer to acquire Petrohawk Energy (HK.N) lifted shares in the energy sector. [.N]

* European shares were headed for their biggest weekly fall in four months, with miners tracking weaker metals and financials coming under pressure ahead of a bank stress test report expected to show some second-tier lenders have failed. [.EU]

* Asian markets were mixed with Nikkei edging up, but traders were reluctant to make big bets ahead of the results of stress tests on European banks.

COMMODITY PRICE MOVES

* The Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB index .CRB, a global commodities benchmark, fell 0.01 percent in early trade.

* Oil prices fell after ratings agency Standard & Poor’s warned it may cut the credit rating of top energy consumer the United States, capping a volatile week marked by concern about the country’s deficit and the euro zone’s debt. [O/R]

* Gold slipped undermined by growing perceptions that further stimulus measures from the United States were unlikely and by a higher dollar against the euro, which was under pressure from concern about the results of European bank stress tests. [GOL/]

* Copper traded steady, paring earlier gains, as the euro dipped ahead of European bank stress tests and investors also eyed trends in top consumer China. [MET/L]

CANADIAN STOCKS TO WATCH

* Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CM.TO): The bank said it will buy a 41 percent stake in a U.S. asset manager from JPMorgan Chase & Co for $848 million in cash. [ID:nL3E7IF1PD]

* TMX Group (X.TO): A Canadian consortium would rather woo the exchange operator and then press forward with its hostile takeover bid, but it said it will do whatever it takes should talks with the TMX Group break down. [ID:nN1E76D0HJ]

* Goldcorp Inc. (G.TO): The gold producer said forest fires near its Musselwhite mine in northwestern Ontario have prompted the company to evacuate its employees and cease mining operations at the site. [ID:nL3E7IE4BR]

* European Goldfields EGU.TO: The miner raised its total resource and reserve estimates thanks to revised figures from its Skouries and Olympias projects in Greece. [ID:nL3E7IF16C]

* Arctic Glacier Income Fund AG_u.TO: The packaged ice maker said it expects its below-market second-quarter results to result in the company defaulting on its credit agreements. [ID:nL3E7IE43S]

* Alange Energy Corp ALE.V. The oil exploration company said it has started drilling at its Petirojo exploration well located in the Llanos basin in eastern Colombia. [ID:nL3E7IF1R4]

ANALYST RECOMMENDATIONS

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

* Astral Media ACMa.TO rating cut to sector perform from outperform; price target lowered to C$43 from C$43.50 at National Bank

* Corus Entertainment (CJRb.TO) rating raised to outperform from sector perform; price target raised to C$24 from C$23.75 at National Bank

$1= $0.96 Canadian Reporting by Kishan Nair; Editing by Jeffrey Hodgson

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