CANADA STOCKS-TSX may open higher in pre-holiday trading

Tue Dec 24, 2013 8:31am EST
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Dec 24 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index looked set to open higher on Tuesday in an abbreviated session that promises to be quiet, with many investors out already for the Christmas holiday break.

The Toronto exchange will close at 1 p.m. (1800 GMT), and will stay closed on Wednesday and Thursday for the Christmas and Boxing Day holidays. TOP STORIES

* U.S. and European regulators fined banks record amounts this year, imposing penalties and settlements of more than $43 billion as authorities work more closely across borders to clean up the financial sector.

* Applications for U.S. home mortgages fell for a second week and hit a 13-year low as mortgage rates rose due to a bond market selloff following the Federal Reserve's decision to pare its bond purchase stimulus in January, an industry group said.

* Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe secured cabinet approval for a draft budget for the next fiscal year that aims to split the benefits of higher tax revenue between trimming fresh borrowing and stimulating the economy with record spending.

* Cold weather pushed up French heating bills last month but consumer spending on other goods stagnated, while firms saw their profit margins squeezed to their tightest in nearly 30 years due to higher taxes and weak growth.MARKET SNAPSHOT

* Canada stock futures traded up 0.08 percent

* U.S. stock futures , , were mixed around -0.04 percent to 0.01 percent

* European shares, were up COMMODITY PRICE MOVES   Continued...