June 7 (Reuters) - Canadian markets looked set to open higher on Friday after data showed U.S. employers stepped up hiring in May, a sign the economy was growing modestly but not strong enough to convince the Federal Reserve to scale back the amount of cash it is pumping into the banking system.
Separately, Canada’s economy created a whopping 95,000 new jobs in May, the biggest monthly gain in 11 years, and most were full-time positions and in the private sector, Statistics Canada said on Friday in a report showing the economy may be gaining momentum.
* German trade activity rose sharply in April, but a cut in the Bundesbank’s growth forecast dampened hopes that Europe’s largest economy might be gaining momentum.
* Britain’s goods trade deficit narrowed more than expected in April as imports dropped, adding to signs the country’s economic growth will gather pace in the second quarter but still reflecting a weak recovery. Samsung Elec loses $12 bln market value on smartphone worries
* Samsung Electronics Co lost $12 billion in market value, hit by brokerage downgrades that have underscored concerns about slowing sales of its flagship Galaxy S4 smartphone.
* Royalty Pharma raised its hostile bid for Irish drug firm Elan to a potential $8 billion, after just 7.5 percent of the target company’s shareholders accepted its previous offer.
* Wal-Mart Stores Inc is optimistic that sales at its U.S. stores will recover from a recent slow patch and grow in the second half of the year, in part because shoppers are getting more confident, company executives said on Thursday.
* Canada stock futures traded higher
* U.S. stock futures , , were higher
* European shares, were mixed
* Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB Index : 288.0585; rose 0.18 percent
* Gold futures : $1,409.4; fell 0.45 percent
* US crude : $95.28; rose 0.55 percent
* Brent crude : $104.33; rose 0.69 percent
* LME 3-month copper : $7,324.25; fell 0.15 percent
Following is a summary of research actions on Canadian companies reported by Reuters.
* Canadian Western Bank : Canaccord Genuity cuts target to C$30.75 from C$31.50, continues to believe that lower revenue growth will contribute to negative operating leverage of 1.6 percent this year
* COM DEV International Inc : Canaccord Genuity raises target to C$4.75 from C$4.35, remains positive given the commercial and civil market strength and margin expansion post execution issues
* Constellation Software : CIBC ups target to C$150 from C$127, says continues to like the company’s strategy, but believes that much of the upside is already priced into the stock
* Major Drilling Group : CIBC cuts target to C$9 from C$11, says the company has significantly scaled down on its less profitable Tanzanian operation and US environmental division.
* Total Energy Services : CIBC ups target to C$18.50 from C$18, says although the current operating environment within the WCSB remains challenging, the increased budget signals continued near-term visibility for the company’s business and is supported by an improving outlook for 2014 activity levels.
* Major Canadian economic data includes employment change, participation rate, and labor productivity
* Major U.S. events and data includes non-farm payrolls, unemployment rate, ECRI weekly index and consumer credit