September 3, 2013 / 12:29 PM / 4 years ago

CANADA STOCKS-TSX may open higher, Chinese data supports

Sept 3 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index futures pointed to a higher open on Tuesday after positive economic data from China indicated a recovery in the region and fears surrounding possible military action against Syria waned.

Canadian telecom stocks were also expected to benefit from news that Verizon Communications Inc is not planning to enter the Canadian wireless market, its chief executive said in an interview.

TOP STORIES

* Two years after hitching its fate to Microsoft's Windows Phone software, a withered Nokia collapsed into the arms of the U.S. software giant, agreeing to sell its main handset business for 5.44 billion euros. Shares of rival BlackBerry Ltd were up in pre-market trading.

* Verizon Communications agreed on Monday to pay $130 billion to buy Vodafone Group out of its U.S. wireless business, signing history's third largest corporate deal announcement to bring an end to an often tense 14-year marriage.

* China's services sector grew steadily in August as domestic demand picked up, official data showed on Tuesday, adding to signs that government measures have started to steer the world's second-largest economy out of its longest slowdown.

* U.S. consumer products company Jarden Corp has agreed to buy scented candle maker Yankee Candle Company Inc for $1.75 billion, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

* President Barack Obama's efforts to persuade the U.S. Congress to back his plan to attack Syria met with skepticism on Monday from lawmakers in his own Democratic Party who expressed concern the United States would be dragged into a new Middle East conflict.

MARKET SNAPSHOT

* Canada stock futures traded up 1.05 percent

* U.S. stock futures , , were up around 0.71 percent to 0.83 percent

* European shares, were down

COMMODITY PRICE MOVES

* Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB Index : 292.7862; rose 0.36 percent

* Gold futures : $1,394.2; rose 0.01 percent

* US crude : $107.31; fell 0.32 percent

* Brent crude : $115.05; rose 0.63 percent

* LME 3-month copper : $7,214.25; fell 0.33 percent

CANADIAN STOCKS TO WATCH

* BlackBerry Ltd : A member of BlackBerry's board committee tasked with exploring strategic alternatives said the company can survive as a niche smartphone maker but should sell off some parts, WSJ said.

* Gabriel Resources Ltd : Protesters gathered in Romania's capital Bucharest late on Monday for a second day of protests against the government's support for a plan to open Europe's biggest open-cast gold mine.

ANALYSTS' RECOMMENDATIONS

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

* Alimentation Couche-Tard : National Bank Financial raises target price to C$70 from C$65 after the company reported solid results that exceeded expectations.

* Endeavour Mining Corp : Goldman Sachs raises target price to C$1 from 85 Canadian cents based on robust cash costs and sound growth strategies.

* Telecommunications companies: National Bank Financial raises Rogers Communications Inc to outperform, target price to C$47.50 from C$44 and RBC raises Telus Corp to outperform from sector perform and target price to C$37 from C$31 after Verizon indicated that it won't enter the wireless sector in Canada.

ON THE CALENDAR

* Major Canadian economic data includes RBC manufacturing PMI

* Major U.S. events and data includes Markit manufacturing, ISM prices and manufacturing employment, and IBD consumer confidence

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