Dec 11 (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index looked set to extend the previous session’s gains on Wednesday even as a U.S. provisional two-year budget agreement compounded expectations the Federal Reserve will start scaling back its stimulus soon.
* A bipartisan budget deal announced in the U.S. Congress on Tuesday, though modest in its spending cuts, would end three years of impasse and fiscal instability in Washington that culminated in October with a partial government shutdown.
* Canadian department store operator Hudson’s Bay Co posted a bigger third-quarter net loss, mainly due to costs related to its acquisition of U.S. retailer Saks, but reported slightly higher same-store sales from its Lord & Taylor chain.
* Encana Corp, Canada’s largest natural gas producer, said it would boost liquids production by 30 percent in 2014 as part of new Chief Executive Doug Suttles’ plan to focus spending on regions rich in gas liquids and oil.
* Canadian National Railway : The rail operator said on Tuesday it is targeting double-digit percentage growth of earnings per share in 2014, and expects capital spending to rise about 5 percent to C$2.1 billion next year.
* Canada stock futures traded up 0.05 percent
* U.S. stock futures , , were mixed
* European shares, were up
* Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB Index : 281.0658; fell 0.1 percent
* Gold futures : $1,255.4; fell 0.55 percent
* US crude : $98.45; fell 0.06 percent
* Brent crude : $108.86; fell 0.48 percent
* LME 3-month copper : $7,171; rose 0.17 percent
Following is a summary of research actions on Canadian companies reported by Reuters.
* Chorus Aviation Inc : CIBC raises price target to C$4.50 from C$3.75 to reflect increased cash flow visibility after the company increased its quarterly dividend
* Gran Tierra Energy Inc : Raymond James resumes coverage with outperform rating; target price of C$9.25, says the company continues to be a core long-term holding in the international energy and petroleum sector
* Lake Shore Gold Corp : CIBC raises price target to C$0.45 from C$0.40 after the company increased its 2014 production outlook on improving throughput rates and grades
* Manitoba Telecom Services Inc : CIBC cuts price target to C$31 from C$34, says the strength of the company’s core telco unit continues to be overshadowed by Allstream
* West Fraser Timber Co Ltd : Raymond James raises target price to C$115 from C$110 citing the company’s strong competitive position, larger market capital and improved trading liquidity
* No major Canadian and U.S. economic data scheduled for the day