July 21 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index could open higher on Wednesday after commodity prices rose on optimism about the strength of the economic recovery and solid U.S. company earnings that boosted investor sentiment.
Canadian equity futures <0#SXF:> pointed to a stronger start as the Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB index .CRB, a global commodities benchmark, rose 0.68 percent in early trade.
Wall Street is also poised to open higher boosted by upbeat earnings from Apple (AAPL.O) that reported after markets closed on Tuesday. [.N]
European stocks rose in a broad rally, climbing for the first time in a week, with investors scooping up recently battered banking shares on hopes the sector's stress test results will be reassuring.
Major Asian markets were up on optimism that China may roll back policy tightening measures later this year, but Nikkei bucked the trend weighed down by worries about a stronger yen.
Here is some news that could affect stock prices:
Oil rose above $78 a barrel on Wednesday after Tuesday's strong U.S. corporate earnings raised optimism over the strength of economic recovery in the world's largest economy. [O/R]
Copper rose to a three-week high on Wednesday as strong physical and Chinese buying coupled with falling inventories boosted prices, but gains were capped by the uncertain outlook for economic growth. [MET/L]
Gold firmed in Europe on Wednesday after a weak Portuguese debt auction raised concerns over the fragility of the euro zone banking sector, knocking the euro, but gains were limited by softer investment demand. [GOL/]
The Canadian dollar surged against the greenback for the second straight day on Wednesday, pushed higher by rallying global stocks and oil prices after healthy earnings from Apple Inc (AAPL.O) whetted investor appetite for riskier assets and currencies. [CAD/]
Canadian stocks to watch include:
ENCANA CORP (ECA.TO)
Canada's biggest natural gas producer Encana Corp (ECA.TO) on Wednesday reported a quarterly loss, hurt partly by commodity hedging, but raised its 2010 production forecast. [ID:nSGE66K0ES]
Giant-screen movie operator IMAX Corp IMX.TO said on Wednesday it signed a deal with China's Guangzhou Jinyi Film & Television Group Co to open eight IMAX theatres in the country. [ID:nSGE66K0H7]
Canada's Khan Resources Inc KRI.TO is bracing for a long legal battle with Mongolian authorities to win final approval to develop one of the mineral-rich country's biggest uranium deposits, its CEO said in an interview on Tuesday. [ID:nSGE66J0J7]
Aastra Technologies Ltd AAH.TO posted a 4 percent drop in quarterly earnings on Tuesday in part as revenue earned offshore was reduced by a stronger Canadian dollar. [ID:nN20100017]
Following is a summary of research actions on Canadian companies reported by Reuters. [RCH/CA]
* Canfor (CFP.TO) price target cut to C$10.50 from C$11.50; rating market perform at Raymond James
* Domtar (UFS.TO) price target cut to C$85 from C$100; rating strong buy at Raymond James
* Fibrek FBK.TO price target cut to C$1.05 from C$1.25; rating market perform at Raymond James
* International Forest Products IFPa.TO price target cut to C$6 from C$7; rating outperform at Raymond James
* Norbord NBD.TO price target cut to C$17.50 from C$20; rating outperform at Raymond James
* West Fraser (WFT.TO) price target cut to C$44 from C$48; rating market perform at Raymond James
$1=$1.04 Canadian Reporting by Bangalore newsroom, editing by Bhaswati Mukhopadhyay and Jeffrey Hodgson