May 30, 2011 / 12:25 PM / 6 years ago

CANADA STOCKS-TSX may open firmer, helped by steady commodities

May 30 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index looked set to open slightly higher on Monday, helped by steady commodity prices, although Greece's debt crisis might continue to deter investors from searching for riskier assets.

FACTORS TO WATCH

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

* European stocks inched up in holiday-thinned trade, with gains limited as German utilities dropped on a government decision to shut all the country's nuclear reactors by 2022. [.EU]

* Asian markets were largely in red, but bucking the trend was Hang Seng which inched higher, helped by banking shares.

COMMODITY PRICE MOVES

* Gold held steady, buoyed by the ongoing debt crisis in the euro zone, while silver trimmed gains as a hike in margins by the Shanghai Gold Exchange kept sentiment in check. [GOL/]

* Brent crude oil fell below $115 a barrel as investors weighed a slightly firmer U.S. dollar and the prospect of increased demand from the start of the U.S. summer driving season. [O/R]

* Shanghai copper fell on technicals, European debt problems and uncertainty about the monetary policies of the United States and China, on track for a 1 percent loss in May. [MET/L]

CANADIAN STOCKS TO WATCH

* Fortis Inc.(FTS.TO):The company said it has agreed to acquire rival utility service provider Central Vermont Public Service Corp in a deal worth $700 million, including debt. [ID:nN30231534]

* Husky Energy Inc.(HSE.TO): Canadian oil producer and refiner applied to list all or part of its business on the Hong Kong stock exchange, a newspaper reported on Monday. [ID:nL3E7GU040]

ANALYST RECOMMENDATIONS

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

* Canadian Utilities Ltd CU.TO rating cut to hold from buy on valuation at Canaccord Genuity

* Hudbay Minerals Inc (HBM.TO) price target cut to C$16.30 from C$16.80; rating hold at Canaccord Genuity

* National Bank Of Canada (NA.TO) price target raised to C$86 from C$83 at CIBC

* RBC (RY.TO) price target cut to C$61 from C$65 at CIBC

$1= $0.98 Canadian Reporting by Anil Kumar; Editing by Jeffrey Hodgson

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