November 1, 2012 / 12:42 PM / 5 years ago

CANADA STOCKS-TSX may open higher, helped by Asia growth signs

Nov 1 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index looked set to open higher on Thursday, as Asian economies showed signs of recovery after battling global headwinds.

TOP STORIES

* Big Asian economies are slowly picking up after a year spent battling against global headwinds, according to business surveys and data released on Thursday that showed renewed vim from China's factory sector and a rebound in South Korean exports.

* Barrick Gold reported a huge drop in third-quarter profit due to lower sales volumes and lower realized gold prices.

* Husky Energy Inc, the integrated oil company, reported lower quarterly production as planned maintenance work at its SeaRose and Terra Nova projects impacted output.

* BCE Inc reported lower third-quarter profit compared with a year earlier, when lower income tax expenses had boosted earnings, but revenue rose.

* Pharmacy benefit manager Catamaran Corp raised its earnings forecast for the year after completing its $4.4 billion acquisition of rival Catalyst Health Solutions, which will help it benefit from the new U.S. healthcare law.

* Royal Dutch Shell, seen as having some of the best output growth assets in the business, joined its peers in suffering lower production in the third quarter.

MARKET SNAPSHOT

* Canada stock futures traded up 0.32 percent

* U.S. stock futures , , were mixed in the range of -0.05 percent to 0.25 percent

* European shares, were up

COMMODITY PRICE MOVES

* Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB Index : 297.08; rose 0.28 percent

* Gold futures : $1,725.1; rose 0.44 percent

* US crude : $86.33; rose 0.1 percent

* Brent crude : $108.17; fell 0.49 percent

* LME 3-month copper : $7,822.75; rose 0.82 percent

CANADIAN STOCKS TO WATCH

* TransCanada Corp < TRP.TO>: The pipeline operator said its Mexican subsidiary has been awarded the contract to build, own and operate the El Encino-to-Topolobampo Pipeline by Comision Federal de Electricidad, Mexico's federal power company.

* Cameco Corp. : The uranium producer on Wednesday lowered its long-term uranium production target by 10 percent, a sharp shift in strategy in response to slower demand growth for the fuel after the Fukushima nuclear disaster.

* First Quantum Minerals Ltd. : The base metal miner reported a 15 percent rise in third-quarter profit, helped by higher copper and gold sales.

* Kinross Gold Corp. : The miner said on Wednesday it has hired a new CFO just three months after replacing its CEO. Tony Giardini, vice President and CFO of Capstone will take on the CFO and executive vice-president role, replacing Paul Barry.

* Open Text Corp. : The business software company's adjusted quarterly profit handily beat estimates, as its expansion into cloud computing services began to pay off, although revenue from licenses fell short of its expectations.

* Research in Motion Ltd. : The Pentagon on Wednesday said it would continue to support "large numbers" of BlackBerry phones made by the company even as it moves forward with plans that would allow the U.S. military to begin using Apple Inc's iPhone and other devices.

* Suncor Energy Inc. : The oil and gas company said late on Wednesday its third-quarter net profit rose 21 percent, but it cut its capital-expenditure outlook due to a slow pace of spending on oil sands projects.

ANALYST RECOMMENDATIONS

Following is a summary of research actions on Canadian companies reported by Reuters.

* Acadian Timber Corp. : Salman Partners raises to buy from hold and raises target price to C$14.50 from C$11.25 citing the company's better-than expected third-quarter results and strong dividend yield

* First Quantum Minerals Ltd. : RBC raises target to C$26 from C$25 on the base metal miner's strong third-quarter results and its increased full-year outlook

* Martinrea International Inc. : CIBC cuts price target to C$9 from C$10 after the company updated its third-quarter and FY outlook and said that FY EPS will not meet the low end of its previous guidance of $1.05 due to higher-than-expected operational and launch costs

* Torstar Corp. : RBC cuts target price to C$9 from C$10 and CIBC cuts price target to C$9 from C$10 after the company posted weaker-than-expected third-quarter results

* Uni-Select Inc. : National Bank Financial cuts price target to C$28.50 from C$32 on current market conditions which could affect the company's third-quarter results

ON THE CALENDAR

* Major Canadian economic data includes RBC manufacturing PMI

* Major U.S. events and data includes ADP employment, initial claims, auto sales, consumer confidence and ISM

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