April 22, 2009 / 12:24 PM / 8 years ago

CANADA STOCKS-TSX could get boost from energy shares at open

TORONTO, April 22 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index could open higher on Wednesday as the resource-heavy index may draw support from higher commodity prices, while a key energy player delivered quarterly results that topped expectations.

But direction in the TSX could also be influenced by moves in U.S. equities, which may start lower as investors await another round of quarterly results from major companies.

Shares of EnCana Corp (ECA.TO), often a key player in determining the index’s direction, could get a boost as its profit for the first-quarter came in ahead of the average forecast among analysts surveyed by Reuters Estimates.

The S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE is coming off a sharp rally in Tuesday’s session as energy and financials shares led it to a gain of 1.33 percent to close at 9,247.17.

Here is some of the news that may affect the index:

ENCANA Q1 PROFIT RISES ON $89 MLN HEDGING GAIN

EnCana Corp’s (ECA.TO) first-quarter profits were cushioned by a hedging gain of $89 million, Canada’s biggest energy company said on Wednesday. [ID:nN21497450]

PRECISION DRILLING Q1 EARNINGS DROP

Precision Drilling Trust PD_u.TO on Wednesday reported lower-than-expected first-quarter earnings of 30 Canadian cents per unit, but said supply declines may begin to outpace lower demand in late 2009. [ID:nN22523280]

CANADIAN NATURAL CHARGED IN DEATHS OF WORKERS

Canadian Natural Resources Ltd (CNQ.TO) and two other firms face 53 charges in the deaths of two workers at the company’s oil sands project in Alberta in 2007, the province said on Tuesday. [ID:nN21506567]

OIL EDGES TOWARDS $49 AHEAD OF U.S. INVENTORY DATA

Oil edged towards $49 a barrel in a narrow range on Wednesday, supported partly by expectations of a recovery in economic growth this year in China, the world’s second-biggest energy consumer. [ID:nSIN466605]

GOLD EDGES UP, AWAITS DIRECTION FROM U.S. EQUITIES

Gold inched higher in Europe on Wednesday in light trade supported by interest in the metal as a haven from risk amid uncertainty over the outlook for the wider markets, along with firmer physical demand. [ID:nLM17150]

WEST 49 WARNS OF MORE BANK COVENANT WOES

West 49 Inc WXX.TO said on Wednesday that it was in violation of its bank covenants and warned that it may do the same in the next quarter as well. [ID:nN22523948]

CANADIAN RESEARCH: INSURERS, TMX GROUP

Following is a list of research on Canadian-listed companies. For more, please see [RCH/CA].

* Genuity raises Manulife Financial (MFC.TO) price target 21 percent to C$23 from C$19

* Genuity raises Sun Life Financial (SLF.TO) price target 16.7 percent to C$35 from C$30

* Genuity raises Great West Lifeco (GWO.TO) price target 15.8 percent to C$22 from C$19

* Genuity raises TMX Group (X.TO) to “buy” rating from “hold”

$1=$1.24 Canadian Reporting by Frank Pingue, Editing by Chizu Nomiyama

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