August 25, 2010 / 12:29 PM / in 7 years

CANADA STOCKS-TSX may open lower after overseas markets drop

Aug 25 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index could open lower on Wednesday after overseas equities dropped and weak U.S. housing figures stirred concerns about the economic recovery in Canada’s biggest trading partner.

FACTORS TO WATCH

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

* U.S. stock index futures dipped on Wednesday as weakness in equities markets overseas kept traders cautious ahead of upcoming U.S. data on durable goods orders and home sales. [.N]

* European shares fell by midday on Wednesday, adding to hefty losses a day earlier, with the cut in Ireland’s credit rating by Standard & Poor’s weighing on sentiment and as fears persisted over the outlook for the global economy. [.EU]

* Tokyo’s Nikkei average hit a 16-month closing low on Wednesday, at one point falling over 2 percent on disappointment over Japanese inaction on the strong yen, which threatens a fragile economic recovery. [.T]

COMMODITY PRICE MOVES

* The Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB index .CRB, a global commodities benchmark, fell 0.19 percent in early trade.

* Crude bounced from a seven-week low Wednesday as investors looked for relief in U.S. oil inventory numbers due later in the day, heartened by Tuesday’s figures indicating a fall in crude stocks. [O/R]

* Gold hit eight-week highs near $1,240 an ounce in Europe on Wednesday as the dollar fell versus the euro and as equities slipped on concerns over economic growth, lifting interest in the metal as a safe store of value. [GOL/]

* Bargain hunters helped steady copper on Wednesday, but concern about economic and demand prospects were expected to limit gains ahead of data from the United States, the world’s largest economy. [MET/L]

CANADIAN STOCKS TO WATCH

* Potash Corp (POT.TO): BHP Billiton, the world’s biggest miner, tried to dampen expectations it would substantially raise its hostile $39 billion bid for Potash Corp, th world’s largest fertilizer producer.[ID:nSGE67O017]

* Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CM.TO) said on Wednesday its third-quarter profit rose 47.5 percent, topping expectations as the bank sharply reduced its provisions to cover bad loans. [ID:nN25110938]

* Research In Motion RIM.TO: India will take a final decision on Aug. 30 on whether to block some BlackBerry services over which the country has security concerns, a senior government source said on Tuesday. [ID:nSGE67O02N]

* Bank of Montreal’s (BMO.TO) profit rose 20 percent in its third quarter as it set aside much less money for bad loans, but the result missed expectations due to weak trading income, pulling the bank’s shares down 6 percent on Tuesday. [ID:nN24241238]

* Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc [ATDb.TO], Canada’s largest convenience store chain, posted a 42.2 percent rise in quarterly profit on Tuesday and said it is acquiring 10 stores from U.S.-based Compac Food Stores Inc. [ID:nN24252951]

ANALYST RECOMMENDATIONS

Following is a summary of research actions on Canadian companies reported by Reuters on Wednesday. Stock entries are in alphabetical order.

*Bank of Montreal (BMO.TO) price target cut by Macquarie to C$65 from C$68, rating neutral. KBW cuts price target by C$2 to C$62, rating market perform. Barclays cuts price target to C$68 from C$72, rating overweight.

* Paramount Resources (POU.TO) raised by Macquarie to outperform from neutral.

* Penn West Energy Trust PWT_u.TO cut by Macquarie to neutral from outperform.

* Progress Energy (PRQ.TO) raised by Macquarie to outperform from neutral.

Reporting by Toronto newsroom, Editing by Chizu Nomiyama

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