August 8, 2013 / 12:34 PM / 4 years ago

CANADA STOCKS-TSX may open lower despite encouraging Chinese data

August 8 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index futures pointed to a lower open on Thursday despite robust Chinese economic data that boosted global markets. TOP STORIES

* Surprisingly firm rebounds in China's exports and imports in July offered some hope that the world's second-largest economy might be stabilising after more than two years of slowing growth, although an imminent rebound still looks unlikely.

* BCE Inc reported a 22 percent fall in profit but a marginal increase in revenue, with strong growth in wireless.

* Quebecor Inc reported a 15 percent rise in quarterly profit, mainly due to growth at its telecommunications business, but total revenue rose less than 1 percent.

* Tim Hortons Inc reported a 14 percent rise in second-quarter profit, and said it would increase its share buyback by C$900 million.

* Agrium Inc reported a fall in quarterly profit due to an unusually cold spring in North America, but said it expected strong demand for crop inputs for the rest of the year.

* Manulife Financial Corp reported a second-quarter profit, just missing analysts' estimates, as it absorbed a smaller loss from financial market movements.MARKET SNAPSHOT

* Canada stock futures traded down 0.13 percent

* U.S. stock futures , , were up around 0.25 percent to 0.43 percent

* European shares, were up COMMODITY PRICE MOVES

* Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB Index : 282.6587; rose 0.21 percent

* Gold futures : $1,291.3; rose 0.4 percent

* US crude : $103.84; fell 0.51 percent

* Brent crude : $106.89; fell 0.51 percent

* LME 3-month copper : $7,197; rose 2.73 percent CANADIAN STOCKS TO WATCH

* Canadian Natural Resources Ltd : The company reaffirmed its full-year production forecast, counting on its Horizon oil sands project to make up for a fall in production in the second quarter.

* Canadian Tire Corp : The company reported a 16 percent rise in second-quarter profit as higher sales in its namesake retail brand boosted margins.

ANALYSTS' RECOMMENDATIONS

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

* Air Canada : CIBC raises target price to C$4.75 from C$4 following the company's strong performance in second quarter

* Labrador Iron Ore Royalty Corp : RBC cuts price target to C$34 from C$37 as the company reported earnings below expected lines

* New Flyer Industries Inc : CIBC raises target price to C$12 from C$11.50 reflecting a change in the company's net debt

* Sun Life Financial Inc : CIBC raises target price to C$35 from C$32, says the company's sales performance was solid, all of which helps sustain the favourable medium-term outlook ON THE CALENDAR

* Major Canadian economic data includes new housing PI

* Major U.S. events and data includes initial and continuing claims

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