November 24, 2009 / 1:28 PM / 8 years ago

CANADA STOCKS-TSX may open higher, banks in spotlight

TORONTO, Nov 24 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock market index could open higher on Tuesday as strong results from Bank of Montreal (BMO.TO) are expected to shine the spotlight on the Canadian financial sector.

Meanwhile, firm gold prices could also help prop up the resource-heavy index.

Toronto’s main stock index on Monday pared early gains but ended higher, touching its highest level in nearly 14 months as an early rally in oil prices powered energy stocks, while financials gained ground ahead of a flood of bank earnings reports. [nN23272563]

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

BANK OF MONTREAL

Bank of Montreal (BMO.TO) said on Tuesday that quarterly profit rose 16 percent as it set aside less money for bad loans. [N23263602]

CITIGROUP

Citigroup Inc (C.N) said on Tuesday that it would sell its Diners Club North America credit card business to Canada’s BMO Financial Group, as part of its strategy to shed non-core or unwanted assets. [nN24290954]

GOLD STEADY

Gold inched up on Tuesday as investors favored it as a hedge against medium-term dollar weakness and possible inflation, but remained below the previous session’s record peak as the U.S. currency edged higher.[nGEE5AN14D]

U.S CRUDE FLAT

U.S. crude oil was flat on Tuesday, held down by a firmer dollar, but trade was thin ahead of the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday and data that was expected to show crude stocks rising in the United States. [nSIN460213]

MAGNA INTERNATIONAL

Germany’s Porsche (PSHG_p.DE) aims to cancel a deal that would have Canada’s Magna International MGa.TO build the Porsche Boxster model series under contract, a source familiar with the situation told Reuters. [nWEA2592]

CANADIAN NATIONAL RAILWAY

Canadian National Railway Co (CNR.TO) (CNI.N) will implement part of its contract proposals on its Canadian locomotive engineers, the carrier said on Monday. [nN23261031]

MANULIFE FINANCIAL

Canada’s top life insurer Manulife Financial Corp (MFC.TO) said it agreed to buy a 49 percent stake in ABN AMRO TEDA Fund Management Co in China for $156 million in cash, following up on pledges to hit the acquisition trail.[nN23273423]

RIOCAN REIT

Canada’s RioCan Real Estate Investment Trust (REI_u.TO) said it plans to sell about 5.5 million units at C$18.35 apiece for gross proceeds of C$100.9 million ($94.7 million). [nBNG514488]

RESEARCH ROUNDUP

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

* RBC raises Iamgold Corp (IAG.N) price target to $21 from $18; Rating Sector Perform

* MacQuarie cuts Nexen Inc NXY.TO to Neutral from Outperform

* Genuity raises Canadian Western Bank (CWB.TO) price target to C$27 from C$23; Rating Buy ($1=$1.06 Canadian) (Reporting by Scott Anderson, Editing by Chizu Nomiyama) ((scott.anderson@reuters.com; +1 416 941 8106; Reuters Messaging: scott.anderson.reuters.com@reuters.net))

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