Jan 27 (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index pointed to a flat to slightly higher open on Monday amid concerns about China’s economic slowdown, coupled with expectations that the U.S. central bank would scale back its bond buying further. TOP STORIES
* German business morale climbed in January to its highest level since July 2011, suggesting Europe’s largest economy is on track for a strong start to 2014 after growing only modestly last year.
* Japan’s trade deficit widened sharply to a record in 2013 as import costs outpaced export receipts due to a weaker yen and higher fuel bills, and the third straight annual shortfall was a reminder of the challenge facing Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
* U.S. cable group Liberty Global has agreed to buy Ziggo in a cash and share deal valuing the Dutch operator at 10 billion euros to expand its reach across Europe.
* U.S. mobile operator AT&T ruled out buying Vodafone for the next six months after an enquiry by Britain’s takeover panel following months of speculation.
* Wal-Mart Stores Inc said on Friday it had cut 2,300 jobs, or roughly 2 percent of the total workforce at its Sam’s Club retail warehouse chain, its biggest round of layoffs since 2010.MARKET SNAPSHOT
* Canada stock futures traded up 0.1 percent
* U.S. stock futures , , were up around 0.3 percent to 0.48 percent
* European shares, were mixed COMMODITY PRICE MOVES
* Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB Index : 282.6472; fell 0.18 percent
* Gold futures : $1,264.5; unchanged
* US crude : $96.83; rose 0.2 percent
* Brent crude : $107.13; fell 0.7 percent
* LME 3-month copper : $7,192.25; rose 0.17 percent CANADIAN STOCKS TO WATCH
* Agrium Inc and Potash Corp of Saskatchewan : Canpotex Ltd, the offshore selling arm for three North American potash companies Potash Corp of Saskatchewan, Mosaic Co and Agrium Inc, said on Friday it has signed an agreement to supply the crop nutrient to Sinochem Fertilizer Macao Commercial Offshore Ltd, a subsidiary of China’s Sinofert Holdings Ltd. ANALYSTS’ RECOMMENDATIONS
Following is a summary of research actions on Canadian companies reported by Reuters.
* Fortis Inc : CIBC raises price target to C$35 from C$34.50, sees potential future growth with the company’s acquisition of UNS Energy
* Genworth MI Canada Inc : CIBC raises price target to C$36 from C$34.50, says the company to report another solid quarter, sees strong volume gains in the fourth quarter and modest price appreciation ON THE CALENDAR
* No major Canadian economic data scheduled for the day
* Major U.S. events and data includes new home sales and Dallas Fed manufacturing index