September 18, 2013 / 12:19 PM / in 4 years

CANADA STOCKS-TSX may open higher, investors focus on Fed meeting

Sept 18 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index looked set to open slightly higher on Wednesday with investors' attention focused on the U.S. Federal Reserve's policy meeting in which the central bank is expected to wean off its ultra easy monetary policy.

TOP STORIES

* The U.S. Federal Reserve is expected to begin its long retreat from ultra-easy monetary policy by announcing a small reduction in its bond buying, while stressing that interest rates will remain near zero for a long time to come.

* China's new home prices rose at the fastest rate in at least 2-1/2 years in August, with some large cities rising around double the national pace, complicating government efforts to keep prices in check while supporting one of the stronger areas of the economy.

* BlackBerry Ltd launched its new Z30 flagship smartphone on Wednesday, as it battles to win back market share despite uncertainty around its future.

* Adobe Systems Inc, known for its Photoshop and Acrobat software, expects subscriber growth to top the 331,000 it added in the third quarter due to strong demand from corporate customers.

MARKET SNAPSHOT

* Canada stock futures traded up 0.07 percent

* U.S. stock futures , , were up around 0.05 percent to 0.27 percent

* European shares, were up

COMMODITY PRICE MOVES

* Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB Index : 287.6113; rose 0.11 percent

* Gold futures : $1,305.1; fell 0.34 percent

* US crude : $105.9; rose 0.46 percent

* Brent crude : $108.21; rose 0.02 percent

* LME 3-month copper : $7,117.75; rose 0.6 percent

CANADIAN STOCKS TO WATCH

* Columbus Gold Corp : Russian gold miner Nord Gold said it had signed a binding letter of intent to buy a 50.01 percent interest in certain licenses of a gold deposit in French Guiana from Columbus Gold.

* Gabriel Resources : Romania's parliament voted overwhelmingly on Tuesday to create a special commission to assess plans by the miner to set up Europe's biggest open-cast gold mine in the Carpathian Mountains.

ANALYSTS' RECOMMENDATIONS

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

* B2Gold Corp : Desjardins starts coverage with buy rating and target price C$3.50, says the company has demonstrated its ability to grow through accretive acquisitions and has a strong track record of exploration success.

* New Gold Inc : Barclays starts coverage on the company's U.S. listed shares with equal weight rating and target price of $8, says it has the potential for significant gold production growth in the coming years.

* Richelieu Hardware Ltd : National Bank Financial raises target price to C$44 from C$40, expects another solid quarter in terms of revenue growth and profitability improvement.

* Santonia Energy Inc : National Bank Financial raises target price to C$2.75 from C$2.50 after the company completed the non-core Clive asset disposition to Enhance Energy.

ON THE CALENDAR

* No major Canadian economic data scheduled for the day

* Major U.S. events and data includes housing starts, building permits and FOMC rate

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