February 2, 2011 / 1:32 PM / 6 years ago

CANADA STOCKS-TSX may open high as copper, Brent crude rise

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Feb 2 (Reuters) - Canadian stock index futures pointed to a slightly higher open on Wednesday, buoyed by surging copper and Brent crude prices.

Factors to Watch

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

* U.S. stock index futures were little changed, a day after the Dow and S&P advanced to their highest close in about two years as investors looked ahead to new data on the labor market. [.N]

* European shares edged higher, with miners boosted by confidence in the pace of economic recovery, though gains were tempered by falls in industrials after results from Scania SCVb.ST and Sandvik. [.EU]

* Asian markets climbed with Japan's Nikkei index rising 1.8 percent -- its biggest one-day advance in around two months.

Commodity Price Moves

* The Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB index .CRB, a global commodities benchmark, rose 0.21 percent in early trade.

* Oil rose with North Sea Brent crude futures near a 28-month high on concerns that unrest in Egypt would trigger regime changes across the Middle East and North Africa, source of more than a third of the world's oil. [O/R]

* Gold prices eased in Europe after well-received U.S. economic data and a spate of upbeat corporate earnings deflected interest away from bullion on to higher-risk, higher-yielding assets. [GOL/]

* Copper surged to record highs, within a whisker of the key psychological $10,000 level as investors scrambled to buy the metal ahead of expected supply shortages and market deficits. [MET/L]

Canadian Stocks to Watch

* ATS Automation Tooling Systems Inc. (ATA.TO): The company, which makes factory automation systems and solar energy equipment, posted a surprise third-quarter loss, hurt mainly by weakness at its Photowatt France segment. [ID:nSGE711074]

* Genworth MI Canada Inc. (MIC.TO): The company's fourth-quarter profit fell as new delinquencies rose due to a soft housing market. [ID:nSGE7110AE]

* First Quantum Minerals (FM.TO): The company plans to raise annual output at Zambia's largest copper mine to 400,000 tonnes by 2015 from 250,000 tonnes, a senior manager in Zambia said on Wednesday. [ID:nLDE7110QM]

* Suncor Energy Inc. (SU.TO): The energy company, on Wednesday said fourth-quarter profit almost tripled, helped by improved margins and higher refined product sales. [ID:nN01139180]

* Maple Leaf Foods (MFI.TO): The food processing company said on Tuesday it will close its prepared meats plant in Surrey, British Columbia, as it carries out a plan to close some facilities and modernize others to compete with U.S. rivals. [ID:nN01117026]

* North American Energy Partners (NOA.TO): The energy services firm's third-quarter income plummeted, as rental costs for unused equipment pressured margins, and the company forecast markets to remain challenging for the year. [ID:nSGE70U0DK]

Analyst Recommendations

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

* Andean American Gold AAG.V price target cut by C$0.20 to C$1.80; rating sector outperform at Haywood;

* Bombardier (BBDb.TO) price target raised to C$7 from C$6.50; rating buy at UBS;

* Cequence Energy (CQE.TO) target price raised to C$3.25 from C$2.25; rating outperform at Raymond James;

* Detour Gold (DGC.TO) price target raised to C$42 from C$41 at Canaccord Genuity;

* Jaguar Mining (JAG.TO) price target cut to C$6.50 from C$7.50; rating hold at Td Newcrest;

* Penn West Petroleum PWT.TO rating cut to neutral from buy at UBS;

* Surge Energy SGY.V coverage started with buy rating; C$11.50 target price at Jacob Securities;

* Suroco Energy SRN.V target price raised to C$1.25 from C$0.90; rating outperform at Raymond James.

($1= $0.98 Canadian)

Reporting by Kishan Nair and Bangalore Newsroom

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