November 2, 2011 / 12:28 PM / 6 years ago

TSX may open higher ahead of U.S. policy meeting

Nov 2 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index looked set to open slightly higher on Wednesday, with investors awaiting developments on the Greece debt crisis and a U.S. monetary policy meeting later in the day.

FACTORS TO WATCH

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

* U.S. stock index futures edged higher, following two days of sharp market losses, with developments in Greece and a U.S. monetary policy meeting in focus. [.N]

* European stocks turned negative in late morning, adding to a sharp two-session drop as investors dumped banking shares on fresh concerns about euro zone debt crisis. [.EU] ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ 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 0.67 percent in early trade.

* Brent crude bounced after three days of losses, supported by hopes the Federal Reserve might hint at more measures to boost the U.S. economy, although retreating from earlier highs on renewed euro zone debt worries. [O/R]

* Gold firmed, helped by safe-haven demand as the euro zone troubles deepened and business surveys showed the severe impact the crisis had on manufacturing in the region. [GOL/]

* Copper rallied on renewed risk appetite and underpinned by supply constraints although a decline in euro zone manufacturing conditions tempered gains. [MET/L]

CANADIAN STOCKS TO WATCH

* Talisman Energy Inc. TLM.TO: The oil producer posted a 37 percent rise in its quarterly profit, helped partially by higher oil prices. [ID:nL4E7M2300]

* Lundin Mining (LUN.TO): The company, which owns a minority stake in the massive Tenke Fungurume mine in Africa, said on Tuesday that majority stakeholder Freeport-McMoRan has approved a planned expansion at the copper-cobalt mine, which will result in a 50 percent increase in the mine’s copper output, once it is complete in 2013.[ID:nN1E7A01VE]

* Intact Financial Corp. (IFC.TO): The home and auto insurer said its net profit for the third quarter slipped 7 percent amid severe weather conditions. [ID:nN1E7A103B]

* Calfrac Well Services Ltd. (CFW.TO): The oilfield services company reported a 48 percent rise in third-quarter profit, driven by robust pressure pumping activity in unconventional oil and natural gas plays in western Canada and the United States.[ID:nL4E7LV2K6]

* Keyera Corp. KEY.TO: The natural gas company posted a higher quarterly profit, helped by strong performance across its business segments, and raised its dividend for the second time this year. [ID:nL4E7M13HP]

* Westport Innovations WPT.TO: The company forecast a 70 percent growth in its full-year revenue, as it expects to gain from the rising use of natural gas as a transportation fuel. [ID:nL4E7M13CM]

* Torstar Corp. (TSb.TO): The publisher of Toronto Star, Canada’s biggest daily, reported a 74 percent jump in third-quarter net profit, helped by growth in its digital division, but said visibility on advertising revenue remains limited. [ID:nL4E7M23D4]

* MDC Partners Inc. MDZa.TO: The company posted a wider quarterly loss, hurt by a slowdown in client work and delays in new projects and campaigns, and the advertising holding company raised its full-year revenue forecast.[ID:nL4E7M13EM]

* Mega Brands MB.TO: The toy-maker posted a marginal dip in third-quarter profit, partly on higher costs, but the company said it expected signs of recovery across all its segments ahead of the crucial holiday season. [ID:nL4E7M23N9]

ANALYST RECOMMENDATIONS

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

* Inmet Mining IMN.TO price target cut to C$109 from C$114 at Salman Partners

* Peregrine Diamonds (PGD.TO) price target cut to C$4.50 from C$4.75 at Salman Partners

* Petrominerales PMG.TO price target cut to C$34.50 from C$36.75 at CIBC

* Ritchie Bros Auctioneers RBA.TO rating raised to outperform on valuation at Baird

* Sherritt International (S.TO) price target cut to C$12.90 from C$14.20 at Salman Partners

* Toromont Industries Ltd TIH.TO price target raised to C$23 from C$22 at CIBC; rating raised to strong buy from outperform, price target raised to C$24.75 from C$22.75 at Raymond James

* TransForce Inc TFI.TO price target raised to C$15.50 from C$14.50 at CIBC ($1= $1.01 Canadian) (Reporting by Karan Khemani)

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