February 22, 2011 / 1:48 PM / 7 years ago

CANADA STOCKS-TSX may open lower on escalating tension in Libya

Feb 22 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index looked set to open lower on Tuesday as a revolt in Libya triggered a sell-off in global stocks, though the resulting spike in oil prices was expected to boost shares of energy companies.

FACTORS TO WATCH

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

* U.S. stock index futures tumbled as a revolt in Libya drove investors away from risky assets and prompted a spike in crude oil prices.[.N]

* European shares fell, adding to a steep decline in the previous session, as violence in Libya intensified worries about unrest spreading further across the region, prompting investors to take profits.[.EU]

* Asian stock prices fell with Japan's Nikkei slipping from 9-1/2-month highs for its first decline in seven days in profit-taking.

COMMODITY PRICE MOVES

* The Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB index .CRB, a global commodities benchmark, rose 2.02 percent in early trade.

* Both Brent LCOc1 and U.S. crude oil CLc2 rallied to 2 1/2-year highs on concerns the revolt in Libya could spread to other major oil producers in the Middle East and North Africa.[O/R]

* Gold fell following six days of gains, as a rising dollar outweighed safe-haven demand arising from violence in the Middle East, and silver was set for its largest slide in a month.[GOL/]

* Base metals fell broadly, with copper at a 3-week low, as worries about tensions in North Africa and the Middle East knocked risk appetite, while a higher dollar deterred non-U.S. investors.[MET/L]

CANADIAN STOCKS TO WATCH

* Gammon Gold Inc GAM.TO said on Tuesday that it is in advanced discussions with its union at the El Cubo gold mine in Mexico, in a bid to end an 8-month strike at the site. [ID:nN22280023]

* Niko Resources Ltd. (NKO.TO): The oil and gas company said on Tuesday it was granted an option to increase its stake in three blocks in India operated by Reliance Industries Ltd. [ID:nSGE71L07R]

ANALYST RECOMMENDATIONS

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

* Bombardier (BBDb.TO) rating upgraded to outperform from market perform at Raymond James

* Fairborne Energy FEL.TO price target raised to C$6.50 from C$5.75; rating outperform at Raymond James

* Mullen (MTL.TO) rating downgraded to underperform from market perform at Raymond James

* Russel Metals (RUS.TO) price target raised to C$25 from C$23; rating market perform at Raymond James

$1= $0.99 Canadian Reporting by Shrutee Sarkar; editing by Jeffrey Hodgson

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