CANADA STOCKS-TSX may open lower; Bernanke's comments weigh
Jan 15 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index looked set to open lower on Tuesday, mirroring Wall Street, after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke painted a cautiously optimistic outlook for U.S. growth while urging lawmakers to raise the debt ceiling to avoid default.
* Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke urged U.S. lawmakers on Monday to lift the country's borrowing limit to avoid a potentially disastrous debt default, warning that the economy was still at risk from political gridlock over the deficit.
* The United States faces a "material risk" of losing its triple-A status if there is a repeat of the wrangling seen in 2011 over raising the country's self-imposed debt ceiling, Fitch said. The debt rating agency also said Spain will continue to face downgrade risks, while Ireland could claw its way back into the single-A rating band.
* The German economy was hit hard by the euro zone crisis in the final quarter of last year, shrinking more than at any point in nearly three years as traditionally strong exports and investment slowed, the Statistics Office said.
* Rio Tinto aims to boost iron ore output by 15 percent this year after production in 2012 climbed to 253 million tonnes, beating its own guidance, as resurgent Chinese demand drives a price recovery.
* Aurizon Mines Ltd said that it was reviewing the unsolicited takeover proposal it received from rival gold miner Alamos Gold Inc and advised its shareholders to hold off on taking any action at this time.
* Anglo American Platinum, the world's top platinum producer, said it will mothball two South African mines, sell another and cut 14,000 jobs in moves to restore profits that may provoke a repeat of last year's strikes when about 50 people died.
MARKET SNAPSHOT Continued...