CANADA STOCKS-TSX may open higher after Italy forms new gov't

Mon Apr 29, 2013 8:28am EDT
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April 29 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index looked set to open higher, with investors encouraged by the formation of a coalition government in Italy that ended two months of political uncertainty in the troubled region.


* New Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta will seek the backing of parliament in a confidence vote, facing severe political and economic problems that will test the solidity of his coalition government in the months ahead.

* Confidence in the euro zone's economy fell further in April, data showed, strengthening the case for a cut in interest rates this week by the European Central Bank.

* A proposed merger of Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc and Actavis Inc was put on hold after the two drugmakers failed to agree on terms of a deal that would have created a healthcare giant with a combined market value of $35 billion, a person familiar with the situation told Reuters on Saturday.

* Germany's Bayer AG has agreed to buy U.S. contraceptive devices maker Conceptus for $1.1 billion, aiming to underpin its position as the world's largest women's healthcare provider.

* BHP Billiton has agreed to sell its Pinto Valley copper mine and a railroad in Arizona to Capstone Mining Corp for $650 million, the latest in a spate of asset sales by the top global miner as it tightens its belt in a weaker market.

MARKET SNAPSHOT   Continued...