September 7, 2012 / 12:11 PM / in 5 years

CANADA STOCKS-TSX may extend gains on ECB bond buying

Sep 7 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index looked set to open higher on Friday, as global markets draw support from the European Central Bank’s bond buying plan and the prospect of a lasting solution of the euro zone’s debt crisis.

TOP STORIES

* After some outsized gains and losses in the past five months, most economists expect Canada’s job market to settle down to a pattern of slow growth.

* The European Central Bank agreed on Thursday to launch a new and potentially unlimited bond-buying programme to lower struggling euro zone countries’ borrowing costs and draw a line under the debt crisis.

* Germany’s conservative newspapers accused ECB chief Mario Draghi of writing a “blank cheque” to troubled euro zone states that could put the entire currency at risk, with top-selling Bild warning his policies could make the euro “kaputt.”

* Commodity trader Glencore has raised its offer for miner Xstrata to salvage a bid, now worth about $37 billion, that appeared to be heading for the rocks after Xstrata shareholder Qatar held out for more.

* Canada will study CNOOC’s $15.1 billion bid for oil producer Nexen particularly closely because the deal is large and the Chinese oil company is a state-owned enterprise, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said on Thursday.

* Canadian yogawear retailer Lululemon Athletica Inc reported a higher quarterly profit on Friday as sales rose.

* Canada’s Excellon Resources Inc, which in August declared a force majeure at its silver mine in Mexico due to a blockade at the site, said the Mexico government canceled Thursday’s scheduled meeting with local land holders.

MARKET SNAPSHOT

* Canada stock futures traded up 0.48 percent

* U.S. stock futures , , were up around 0.27 percent

* European shares, were up

COMMODITY PRICE MOVES

* Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB Index : 309.82; rose 0.3 percent

* Gold futures : $1,696.7; fell 0.35 percent

* US crude : $96.1; rose 0.6 percent

* Brent crude : $114.12; rose 0.56 percent

* LME 3-month copper : $7,865.75; rose 2.14 percent

ANALYST RECOMMENDATIONS

Following is a summary of research actions on Canadian companies reported by Reuters.

* AGF Management : Barclays raises to equal weight from underweight, raises price target to C$13 from C$11 as share buyback will help lift earnings

* COM DEV International : Canaccord Genuity raises target price to C$3.75 from $3.50 as the company records strong bookings for the quarter

* Major Drilling Group : RBC cuts target to C$14 from C$17 as the management of the company reiterated a cautious tone

* North West Company : CIBC ups target to C$24 from C$22 after the company reported strong quarterly results

* San Gold Corp : National Bank Financial raises to outperform from sector perform and raises price target to C$2.30 from C$1.50 on expectations of reduced costs after the site visit

* Transcontinental : CIBC cuts target to C$12 from C$13, Canaccord Genuity cuts to hold from buy after the commercial printed posted a fall in adjusted profit

ON THE CALENDAR

* Major Canadian economic data includes building permits, employment and Ivey PMI data

* Major U.S. events and data includes non-farm payrolls data, unemployment rate and average hourly earnings

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