TORONTO, Aug 21 (Reuters) - A firm tone to key commodity prices may lift Toronto's main stock index, while rising equity markets overseas also were seen lending support.
Chinese shares, which have become a yardstick of risk appetite in recent sessions, rose, and the sentiment spilled over into Europe, which gained an additional boost from a strong improvement in a euro zone manufacturing and services survey.
Influential events on Friday could come from a speech by U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, as well as data on U.S. existing home sales. Both are due at 10 a.m. (1400 GMT).
The S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed Thursday's session up 0.13 percent at 10,700.51 points.
Here is some of the news that may affect the market.
While gold firmed to hold near $945 per ounce in Europe in league with a stronger euro, it was still hemmed into narrow ranges. It has mostly traded below $950 this week and so far this month it has shed some 1 percent. [ID:nLL411088]
Oil touched a high for this year above $73 a barrel. [ID:nSIN143777]
Canada's East Coast oil producers were monitoring Hurricane Bill's forecast path, which is expected to take it over Nova Scotia and Newfoundland on Sunday and Monday. Bill, a Category 3 storm, became less organized on Friday, but could strengthen. [ID:nN21977]
* See also: Exxon evacuating Sable staff ahead of Bill [ID:nN20524142]
ALBERTA CLIPPER PIPELINE PROJECT
The United States approved Enbridge Inc's (ENB.TO) $3.3 billion Alberta Clipper pipeline project on Thursday, granting the project, which will deliver Canadian oil to U.S. refineries, a presidential permit, and raising the ire of some environmental groups. [ID:nN20530591]
JACKSON HOLE MEETING
U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Bernanke is among scheduled speakers at this weekend's gathering of policymakers from around the world in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Bernanke's speech will be monitored for fresh insight into the economy and he is expected to talk about the lessons learned from the financial crisis and efforts to aid the economic recovery. [ID:nN19476446]
* See also: Fed retreat draws elite, but glamour is on holiday [ID:nN20442339]
General Motors [GM.UL] is moving closer to picking Germany's favoured buyer, Magna International MGa.TO and its Russian partners, for its Opel business when GM's board meets on Friday, sources close to the matter said. [ID:nLL484019]
* SCENARIOS: The hands GM board could deal in Opel poker [ID:nLI202269 ]
Business software maker Open Text OTC.TO (OTEX.O) posted a dip in quarterly profit, even as revenue edged higher, and said its integration of web media firm Vignette was progressing as planned.
* Versant, RBC, Raymond James, Haywood raise price target on Open Text [RCH/CA]
Following is a summary of research actions on Canadian companies reported by Reuters on Friday. For more, please double click [RCH/CA]
* Raymond James, Canaccord raise price target on Chariot Resources CHD.TO; Canaccord also cuts Chariot to hold from buy (Reporting by Ka Yan Ng; Editing by Theodore d'Afflisio)