October 20, 2010 / 12:48 PM / 7 years ago

CANADA STOCKS-TSX may open higher, buoyed by commodity prices

Oct 20 (Reuters) - Toronto’s resource heavy main stock index looked set to open higher on Wednesday as commodity prices rebounded from China’s surprise rate hike earlier this week, supported by a softer U.S. dollar.

FACTORS TO WATCH

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

* U.S. stock index futures rose as dissipating fears over an interest rate hike in China weighed down the U.S. dollar and lifted global equities. [.N]

* European shares rose by midday on Wednesday as miners rebounded on a weak dollar and banks rose ahead of results from U.S. peer Morgan Stanley, while Novo Nordisk gained after a setback for its rivals. [.EU]

* Asian stocks pared early losses as markets recovered from an initial shock to China’s first rate rise in nearly three years that had investors fretting it may be embarking on a policy tightening cycle.

COMMODITY PRICE MOVES

* The Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB index .CRB, a global commodities benchmark, rose 0.69 percent in early trade. Commodities are generally priced in U.S. dollars and broader weakness in the currency tends to help send prices higher.

* Oil rose above $80 a barrel, supported by a weaker dollar, signs that U.S. fuel stockpiles are falling and as investors reassessed a surprise interest rate rise in the world’s second-largest consumer China. [O/R]

* Gold prices rose back above $1,340 an ounce in Europe, recovering some of the previous session’s hefty losses, as the dollar ceded ground to a basket of currencies after its move higher. [GOL/]

* Copper bounced, recouping earlier losses as the dollar dipped and markets reassessed a surprise interest rate hike by top consumer China. [MET/L]

CANADIAN STOCKS TO WATCH

* Encana Corp. (ECA.TO): Canada’s largest natural-gas producer reported third-quarter profit below market expectations, cut its 2010 production outlook and lowered its forecast for cash flow per share. [ID:nSGE69J0FK]

* Potash Corp. (POT.TO): The world’s biggest miner, BHP Billiton, is looking to address Canadian concerns about lost revenue from its takeover bid for Potash after Saskatchewan province said it would not back the miner’s $39 billion bid. [ID:nSGE69J05K].

* Research In Motion RIM.TO: The Blackberry maker’s co-CEO Jim Balsillie on Tuesday brushed off Steve Jobs’ critique of RIM’s BlackBerry PlayBook tablet computer, saying the Apple CEO’s barbs made no sense outside of his company’s “distortion field.” [ID:nN19153504]

* WestJet Airlines (WJA.TO): Canada’s second-biggest airline, and American Airlines owned by AMR Corp, formed an alliance on Tuesday to more seamlessly carry passengers on each others‘networks, the two carriers said. [ID:nN19162992]

* First Quantum Minerals (FM.TO): The miner on posted an 18 percent fall in third-quarter copper production, hurt by suspension of operations at its Frontier mine in Congo after losing mining licenses in the central African country. [ID:nSGE69I0KY]

* DragonWave Inc DWI.TO: The telecom equipment maker said on Tuesday it formed a joint venture with India’s Himachal Futuristic Communications Ltd to expand into the Indian market. [ID:nSGE69I0KV]

* Angle Energy Inc. NGL.TO: The oil and gas explorer said third quarter average production rose 37 percent sequentially, but raised its 2010 capital spending forecast. [ID:nSGE69J0FU]

ANALYST RECOMMENDATIONS

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

* Pacific Rubiales Energy PRE.TO price target raised to C$35 from C$34; keeps strong buy rating at Raymond James

($1= $1.02 Canadian)

Reporting by Bangalore Newsroom, Editing by Jeffrey Hodgson

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