May 1, 2013 / 12:37 PM / in 4 years

CANADA STOCKS-TSX may open slightly lower ahead of Fed; eye on Tim Hortons

May 1 (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index looked set to open slightly lower as investors turn cautious ahead of the outcome of the U.S. Federal Reserve’s policy meeting later in the session.

But shares of Tim Hortons Inc were expected to rise after Reuters reported that the coffee-and-doughnut chain has come under pressure from a large investor to aggressively boost returns through debt-funded share buybacks and a scaling back of U.S. expansion plans.

TOP STORIES

* British manufacturing contracted by the narrowest of margins in April, and much less than expected, the first major set of data in the second quarter of the year showed.

* Yamana Gold Inc is aiming to sharply reduce its all-in sustaining costs this year, as it adjusts to a recent drop in bullion prices, its chief executive said on Tuesday.

* Loblaw Cos Inc reported a 40 percent rise in first-quarter profit and said it plans to compete the initial public offering of its real estate investment trust in early to mid-July.

* Talisman Energy Inc posted a quarterly loss as the sale of some North Sea assets hurt production but it said it expected significant growth in higher-margin liquids output in the second half of this year and into 2014.

* Merck reported lower-than-expected first quarter sales, as generic competition hurt demand for its Singulair asthma drug and the stronger dollar hit overseas sales of its medicines.

* Chesapeake Energy Corp reported a quarterly profit compared with a year-earlier loss, when the company took a charge related to the value of its hedges.

MARKET SNAPSHOT

* Canada stock futures traded down 0.17 percent

* U.S. stock futures , , were up around 0.03 percent to 0.17 percent

* European shares, were up

COMMODITY PRICE MOVES

* Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB Index : 287.0512; fell 0.55 percent

* Gold futures : $1,469.7; fell 0.17 percent

* US crude : $92.02; fell 1.54 percent

* Brent crude : $100.77; fell 1.56 percent

* LME 3-month copper : $6,916; fell 1.97 percent

CANADIAN STOCKS TO WATCH

* Canadian Oil Sands Ltd : The company said on Tuesday that first-quarter profit fell by nearly half as operating problems and the oil sands facility lowered production.

* Jean Coutu Group Inc : The pharmacy chain reported a 7 percent fall in revenue due to reductions in the prices of generic drugs and an additional reporting week in the year-earlier quarter.

ANALYSTS’ RECOMMENDATIONS

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

* Athabasca Oil : CIBC cuts price target to C$15 from C$17 following the company’s first-quarter results as production continues to be impacted by third-party issues, says production will remain curbed and highly variable until the issues are addressed.

* Thomson Reuters : CIBC raises target price to $35 from $33 after the company’s reported better-than-expected first-quarter results.

* Trilogy Energy : CIBC raises price target to C$36 from C$35 on valuation after the company reported in-line first-quarter results.

* Yamana Gold : Canaccord Genuity cuts target price to $19.75 from $20.75 citing the company’s weak first-quarter results.

ON THE CALENDAR

* No major Canadian economic data scheduled

* Major U.S. events and data includes ADP national employment, Markit manufacturing PMI, ISM prices and auto sales data

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