October 14, 2011 / 12:22 PM / in 6 years

TSX may open higher as commods rise on Europe hope

Oct 14 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index was set to open slightly higher on Friday, taking cues from European markets, as commodity prices rose on hopes that world leaders would make progress on resolving the euro zone crisis.

FACTORS TO WATCH

* Canadian equity futures <0#SXF:> pointed to a higher open.

* U.S. stock index futures rose, as investors shrugged off downgrade of Spain’s credit rating and focused on strong earnings from Google Inc and hopes for progress on Europe’s debt crisis. [.N]

* European stocks resumed their recovery rally after the previous session’s bout of profit-taking as growing hopes of swift measures to battle the euro zone debt crisis eclipsed Spain’s credit rating downgrade by Standard & Poor‘s. [.EU]

* Most Asian stocks fell, with Nikkei down partly pressured by a shake-up among Olympus Corp’s top management. ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ To receive an early e-mail of Reuters Morning News Call - Canada -- a preview of market moving news -- Thomson Reuters subscribers can register at [CA/MNC] ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

COMMODITY PRICE MOVES

* The Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB index .CRB, a global commodities benchmark, rose 0.9 percent in early trade.

* Brent crude rose toward $112, heading for a second-straight weekly increase, on bets that China may loosen credit as inflation cools and boost fuel demand in the world’s second largest oil consumer. [O/R]

* Gold rose, on track to post its biggest weekly gain in more than a month, with caution prevailing ahead of a G20 meeting whose agenda will be dominated by the euro zone debt crisis and steps to tackle contagion. [GOL/]

* Copper rose, driven by positive sentiment on China’s latest inflation data and cautious optimism European leaders are closer to agreeing a plan on the euro zone debt crisis. [MET/L]

CANADIAN STOCKS TO WATCH

* AuRico Gold AUQ.TO: The miner said its third-quarter gold production rose 68 percent as two more mines of the company in Mexico became operational. [ID:nL3E7LD3DN]

* Encana Corp. (ECA.TO): The gas producer said it has reached an agreement with Pembina Pipeline Corp (PPL.TO) to boost natural gas liquids extraction plans and help it produce 12,000 barrels per day from Alberta deep basin. [ID:nL3E7LE1XW]

ANALYST RECOMMENDATIONS

Following is a summary of research actions on Canadian companies reported by Reuters. [RCH/CA]

* Astral Media ACMa.TO rating raised to outperform from sector perform at National bank

* Bauer Performance Sports BAU.TO price target raised to C$8.50 from C$8 at CIBC

* Cascades (CAS.TO) price target cut to C$6 from C$7 at TD Securities

* Chorus Aviation CHRb.TO CHRa.TO price target cut to C$5 from C$5.50 at TD Securities

* CML Healthcare CLC.TO rating raised to outperform from market perform; price target raised to C$10.50 from C$10 at Raymond James

* Postmedia Network (PNCa.TO) coverage started with underperform; C$10.50 target at National bank

* RMP Energy (RMP.TO) price target cut to C$2.50 from C$2.75 at CIBC ($1= $1.01 Canadian) (Reporting by Anil Kumar)

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