October 20, 2011 / 12:47 PM / 6 years ago

CANADA STOCKS-TSX may edge up on EU rescue fund guidelines

Oct 20 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index was set to open slightly higher on Thursday after a guidelines document on euro zone rescue fund provided some clarity to traders, but falling commodity prices could cap gains.

FACTORS TO WATCH

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

* Stock index futures rose as investors looking for an earnings season rally maintained interest in the market after a sharp fall the previous session, but concerns over Europe’s debt crisis capped gains. [.N]

* European stocks trimmed losses in early afternoon trade after a plan outlining how the euro zone’s rescue fund will be able to intervene in bond markets to ease the region’s debt crisis reassured jittery investors. [.EU]

* Asian stocks fell with Hang Seng and Nikkei down more than a percent as some investors cut holdings ahead of the EU Summit on Sunday. ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ 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 0.12 percent in early trade.

* Oil rose a dollar to around $109 a barrel after European officials unveiled plans to tackle the euro zone debt crisis through bond buying, whilst tight supply continued to underpin. [O/R]

* Gold prices fell about 2 percent, on course for a fourth consecutive session of losses, as investors were spooked by worries whether Europe will achieve a cure for its debt crisis. [GOL/]

* Copper fell almost 4 percent to its lowest in two weeks as plans to tackle the EU debt crisis stalled and concerns about an economic slowdown weighed on the metal demand outlook. [MET/L]

CANADIAN STOCKS TO WATCH

* Encana Corp. (ECA.TO): The natural gas producer’s operating profit doubled in the third quarter, and the company said it was on track to meet growth of 5-7 percent a share in 2011. [ID:nL3E7LK1N2]

* Agnico-Eagle Mines Ltd. (AEM.TO): The gold miner said it will double the cash component of its offer for Grayd Resource Corp GYD.V to C$183 million, as Agnico moves to expand its footprint in Mexico. [ID:nL3E7LK1X7]

* Ithaca Energy IAE.V: The British oil explorer agreed a plan to develop a key North Sea oil field, in a move which will double its yearly production by 2013. [ID:nL5E7LK1C7]

* Transat A.T. Inc . TRZb.TO: The holiday travel operator is laying off 115 employees across Canada to try to save C$10 million a year and return to profit. [ID:nN1E79I1NA]

* Aastra Technologies Ltd. AAH.TO: The business communications company’s third-quarter profit rose on lower research and development costs and forex losses. [ID:nL3E7LJ3GY]

ANALYST RECOMMENDATIONS

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

* Aastra Technologies AAH.TO rating raised to outperform from sector perform at National Bank

* AG Growth International Inc (AFN.TO) price target cut to $35 from $50 at CIBC

* Canexus CUS.TO price target cut to C$7.50 from C$8 at CIBC

* Migao Corp MGO.TO price target cut to C$6 from C$8 at CIBC

* Sun Life Financial (SLF.TO) coverage started with sector perform; C$26 target at National Bank

* Vicwest Inc VIC.TO target cut to C$13 from C$17.50 at CIBC

$1= $1.01 Canadian Reporting By Chandra Ramarathnam; Editing by Jeffrey Hodgson

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