July 28, 2011 / 12:37 PM / 6 years ago

CANADA STOCKS-TSX may open lower as U.S. debt default feared

6 Min Read

July 28 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index looked set to open lower on Thursday as growing fears about a U.S. debt default drove investors away from riskier assets.

Factors to Watch

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

* U.S. stock index futures rose after Wall Street suffered its worst day in eight weeks, but the session was predicted to be volatile ahead of a key vote later in the day on a bill to cut the U.S. deficit. [.N]

* European stocks retreated in early trade, falling for the fourth straight session as a raft of disappointing earnings and downbeat comments sparked fears about the outlook for company profits. [.EU]

* Asian markets fell as sovereign debt risks weighed on sentiment. ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ 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 0.11 percent in early trade.

* Brent oil rose above $118 as a storm heading toward the Gulf of Mexico raised the threat of supply disruption and wary traders waited to see whether the United States could break a political deadlock over its debt limit. [O/R]

* Gold steadied, surrendering earlier gains, as the dollar rose against a currency basket, but prices were underpinned by concerns over a potential U.S. debt default as lawmakers in Washington argued over deficit-cutting measures. [GOL/]

* Copper steadied as debt concerns in the United States and Europe offset supply worries following a declaration of force majeure by the world's biggest copper mine. [MET/L]

Canadian Stocks to Watch

* Barrick Gold Corp. (ABX.TO): The world's largest gold miner reported a 35 percent increase in its second-quarter profit, as the surge in bullion prices helped boost the company's results. [ID:nN1E76R019]

* Potash Corp (POT.TO): The world's largest fertilizer maker reported a 75 percent increase in its quarterly profit on the back of surging grain prices that lifted demand for its crop nutrient products. [ID:nN1E76Q2DX]

* Suncor Energy Inc. (SU.TO): The oil and gas producer posted a slim 4 percent rise in second-quarter profit and said it did not anticipate entering into further agreements to sell off assets in 2011. [ID:nL6E7IS0CL]

* Thomson Reuters Corp. (TRI.TO): The company reported sluggish growth in its Markets division, as the company struggles to accelerate adoption of its new Eikon flagship desktop for financial professionals. [ID:nN1E76Q1HG]

* TransAlta Corp. (TA.TO): Steve Snyder is stepping down as CEO at the power generation company after 15 years and will be replaced by Dawn Farrell, currently the company's COO, who will take the helm at the start of 2012, TransAlta said. [ID:nN1E76Q20Y]

* Mega Brands Inc MB.TO: The toy maker posted a second quarter profit and said it expects international sales to grow further in the second half of the year. [ID:nL3E7IS3GN]

* Domtar Corp. (UFS.TO): The company reported second-quarter profit which nearly doubled on higher selling prices of pulp and paper, and said it is set to gain from forecast price hikes in business papers in the second half of this year. [ID:nL3E7IS3R0]

* Agnico-Eagle Mines (AEM.TO): The gold miner said on Wednesday its second-quarter profit fell as gains from higher metal prices were more than offset by lower production volumes and increased tax expenses. [ID:nN1E76Q1YM]

* Goldcorp Inc. (G.TO): The gold producer said on Wednesday its second-quarter operating profit more than doubled, as a surge in bullion prices and increased output helped boost the Canadian miner's results. [ID:nN1E76Q1O3]

* Research In Motion RIM.TO: The BlackBerry maker wants software developers to use its popular instant messaging tool within their applications to enable friends to play games, share and discuss news, and decide where they will eat dinner. [ID:nN1E76Q1UR]

* Korean Air Lines (BBDb.TO): The South Korean flag carrier said that it would purchase 10 Bombardier CS 300 aircraft for 709 billion won. [ID:nS6E7IC008]

* Capital Power Corp. (CPX.TO): The North American independent power producer reported a wider second-quarter loss, hurt mainly by lower margins. [ID:nL3E7IR5DC]

* Exco Technologies Ltd. XTC.TO: The auto parts maker posted a higher third-quarter profit on strong demand for its products across all segments. [ID:nL3E7IR5CM]

* QLT Inc QLT.TO: The biotechnology company's second-quarter loss widened as operating and research and development expenses surged. [ID:nL3E7IS34N]

Analyst Recommendations

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

* Athabasca Oil Sands Corp (ATH.TO): rating raised to sector outperformer from sector performer at CIBC

* Orbit Garant Drilling OGD.TO: coverage started with outperform rating;price target of C$7.60 at National Bank

* Romarco Minerals Inc (R.TO): rating cut to sector underperformer from sector performer at CIBC

* Rona Inc RON.TO:price target cut to C$12 from C$14 at CIBC

* Sherritt International (S.TO): price target cut to C$8.85 from C$9.25

* Torstar Corp (TSb.TO):rating cut to sector perform from outperform at National Bank

* Vicwest Inc VIC.TO:price target cut to C$18 from C$20;rating outperform at National Bank

$1= $0.95 Canadian Reporting by Anil Kumar; Editing by Jeffrey Hodgson

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