Jan 18 (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index looked set to open higher on Friday after better-than-expected Chinese GDP data eased concerns of a sharp slowdown in the world’s second largest economy and lifted investor sentiment.
* Schlumberger Ltd’s quarterly profit fell 3 percent as the world’s largest oilfield services company’s international customers held back spending even as North American gas-directed drilling activity remained lower.
* General Electric reported a better-than-expected 7.5 percent rise in profit, reflecting a campaign to boost margins as well as higher sales of equipment used in oil and gas production.
* China’s economy grew at its slowest pace in 13 years in 2012, though a year-end spurt supported by infrastructure spending and a jump in trade signalled the foundation for the stable growth path Beijing says is vital for economic reform may be in sight.
* The premier of Saskatchewan joined 10 U.S. state governors in urging President Barack Obama to approve TransCanada Corp’s contentious and long-delayed Keystone XL oil pipeline, citing energy-security benefits in both countries.
* Intel Corp forecast quarterly revenue that disappointed Wall Street and a sharp increase in capital spending it plans for 2013 unnerved investors already concerned about slow demand for personal computers.
* The U.S. economic recovery is entering the home strait, though unemployment is still very high and may only come down gradually, outgoing U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said.
* Canada stock futures traded up 0.11 percent
* U.S. stock futures , , were mixed in the range of -0.28 percent to 0.06 percent
* European shares, were up
* Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB Index : 300.8681; rose 0.02 percent
* Gold futures : $1,688.7; fell 0.1 percent
* US crude : $95.35; fell 0.15 percent
* Brent crude : $110.76; fell 0.31 percent
* LME 3-month copper : $8,078; rose 0.3 percent
* Bombardier Inc. : Australia’s Qantas Airways Ltd has placed firm orders for three Q400 NextGen turboprop airplanes, the maker of the aircraft said on Thursday.
Following is a summary of research actions on Canadian companies reported by Reuters.
* Intact Financial : National Bank Financial raises target price to C$76 from C$74, expects to report fourth-quarter earnings slightly above consensus
* Ivanplats Ltd : BMO raises target price to C$5.90 from C$5.00 after IVP reported an updated resource estimate for the Kamoa copper deposit in the DRC, confirming it as one of the largest undeveloped high-grade copper deposits in the world
* Transforce Inc : CIBC raises target price to C$26 from C$24.50 after it acquired Velocity express citing the acquisition will add to revenue and TFI would increase its footprint in the package and courier market
* Major Canadian economic data includes manufacturing sales
* Major U.S. events and data includes Reuters/UMich, current conditions and expectations