July 27, 2011 / 12:42 PM / 6 years ago

CANADA STOCKS-TSX may open flat; debt woes offset soaring gold

July 27 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index looked set to open little changed on Wednesday as a jump in the price of gold and some other commodities was offset by concerns over the prospect of a U.S. default.

FACTORS TO WATCH

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

* U.S. stocks futures were slightly lower as concerns over a possible debt default by the United States continued to weigh on investor sentiment. [.N]

* European shares fell as a deadlock over raising the U.S. debt limit raised concerns about a possible default and a downgrade of the country’s top-notch credit rating, prompting investors to cut their exposure to riskier assets. [.EU]

* Asian markets were mostly low on U.S. debt concerns prompting investors to cut their exposure to riskier assets ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ To receive an early e-mail of Reuters Morning News Call - Canada -- a preview of market moving news -- Thomson Reuters subscribers can register at [CA/MNC] ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

COMMODITY PRICE MOVES

* The Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB index .CRB, a global commodities benchmark, fell 0.22 percent in early trade.

* Oil fell as partisan wrangling over the U.S. debt limit unnerved investors and sent them fleeing from assets perceived to be dependent on growth. [O/R]

* Gold prices hit record highs for the sixth time in two weeks and silver and palladium rallied as concerns over the prospect of a U.S. default prompted investors to buy precious metals as a haven from risk. [GOL/]

* Copper slipped after an increase of almost 2 percent in the previous session as a stronger dollar and worries over slower demand from top consumer China offset supply worries due to strikes at the world’s largest copper mine. [MET/L]

CANADIAN STOCKS TO WATCH

* Canadian Pacific Railway (CP.TO): Canada’s second-biggest railroad reported a 23 percent fall in second-quarter profit as inclement weather and prolonged flooding hampered railroad operations. [ID:nL3E7IR2Y6]

* MEG Energy Corp. (MEG.TO): The oil sands developer reported a higher second-quarter profit, helped by higher production and lower operating costs, and also reiterated its production forecast for the year. [ID:nL3E7FS2HE]

* Zarlink Semiconductor Corp. ZL.TO: The chipmaker reported a 77 percent drop in first-quarter net profit as it fends off an unwanted buyout attempt. [ID:nL3E7IR2PH]

* Progressive Waste Solutions Ltd. BIN.TO: The waste management company’s second-quarter profit jumped 84 percent driven by higher pricing at both its Canadian and U.S. segments and revenue from acquisitions. [ID:nL3E7IQ4ZL]

* Canadian Oil Sands Ltd. COS.TO: The company said on Tuesday its profit jumped 42 percent in the second quarter as higher oil prices offset a drop in production due to upgrading plant problems. [ID:nN1E76O116]

* Aecon Group (ARE.TO): The construction company said it won contracts of up to C$64 million for highway construction work in Ontario. [ID:nL3E7IR2IO]

* Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. (VRX.TO): The drugmaker approached Swedish specialty drug maker Meda AB about a possible acquisition, a source familiar with the situation said. [ID:nN1E76P297]

* Castle Resources Inc. CRI.V: The junior mineral development company said exploration results at its fully owned Granduc copper project in British Columbia show the presence of a copper-rich environment at the site. [ID:nL3E7IR2JF]

* Dundee Real Estate Investment Trust (D_u.TO): The REIT said on Tuesday it arranged $150 million in equity financing to help pay for recent acquisitions, including a C$831.8 million office property deal struck last week. [ID:nN1E76P257]

* Opti Canada OPC.TO: The company said majority of its second-lien noteholders have agreed to back an offer from CNOOC Ltd to buy the company. [ID:nL3E7IR2D6]

ANALYST RECOMMENDATIONS

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

* Algonquin Power & Utilities Corp (AQN.TO): price target raised to C$6.75 from C$6 at CIBC

* ARC Resources Ltd (ARX.TO): price target raised to C$29 fro m C$28 at CIBC

* Bonavista Energy Corp (BNP.TO): price target cut to C$32.50 from C$32 at CIBC

* CGI Group Inc (GIBa.TO): price target raised to C$25.50 from C$24 at CIBC

* Crescent Point Energy Corp (CPG.TO): price target cut to C$55 from C$61 at CIBC

* Enerplus Corp (ERF.TO): price target cut to C$35.50 from C$37 at CIBC

* Inmet Mining Corp IMN.TO: price target cut to C$88 from C$93 at CIBC

* Just Energy Group Inc (JE.TO): coverage started with sector performer rating and C$15 price target at CIBC

* Mullen Group (MTL.TO): price target raised to C$26 from C$24 at CIBC

* NAL Energy Corp NAE.TO: price target cut to C$17 from C$17.50 at CIBC ($1= $0.94 Canadian) (Reporting by Anil Kumar; Editing by Jeffrey Hodgson)

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