Feb 5 (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index looked set to open higher, in line with its European and U.S. counterparts, after better-than-expected euro zone data confirmed the region’s economy showed clear signs of recovery.
* The euro zone’s battered economy is probably recovering but the gulf between its two biggest members is widening, according to a survey that showed business optimism in the bloc at an eight-month high.
* BP announced quarterly profit down a fifth from a year ago, after it sold assets in preparation for what could be its biggest oil spill payout when the case comes to trial later this month.
* TransCanada Corp : Alberta could offer new environmental initiatives for oil sands development to show the Obama administration that approving a $5.3 billion pipeline to U.S. Gulf Coast refineries will not increase pollution, the Canadian province’s new envoy in Washington said on Monday.
* John Malone’s Liberty Global has opened talks with Britain’s Virgin Media over a takeover that would increase the U.S. cable group’s dominance in Europe and step up a challenge to media mogul Rupert Murdoch.
* Barclays bosses ducked questions over funding for its rescue by Qatar four years ago, as another big charge for mis-selling showed how past problems continue to dog the British bank.
* UBS reported faster than expected progress in overhauling its investment bank but its flagship wealth management unit performed disappointingly, weighed down in Europe where Switzerland is under fire for helping tax cheats.
* Canada stock futures traded up 0.47 percent
* U.S. stock futures , , were up around 0.5 percent
* European shares, were up
* Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB Index : 304.5331; rose 0.37 percent
* Gold futures : $1,674.5; fell 0.05 percent
* US crude : $96.8; rose 0.66 percent
* Brent crude : $116.53; rose 0.8 percent
* LME 3-month copper : $8,279.75; fell 0.3 percent
* Canadian Oil Sands Ltd : Synthetic crude oil production at Syncrude Canada’s oil sands operations averaged 277,600 barrels per day in January, down about 5 percent from December, the joint venture’s largest-interest owner, Canadian Oil Sands Ltd said.
* Yellow Media Ltd : The telephone directory publisher’s fourth-quarter adjusted profit halved as print advertising sales remained weak.
* Bell Aliant reported a 12 percent fall in fourth-quarter profit as it took a restructuring related charge.
Following is a summary of research actions on Canadian companies reported by Reuters.
* Bombardier Inc : National Bank Financial raises target price to C$4.25 from C$4, sees upside potential for the company in the second half of 2013 if the Cseries development stays on track and if its first flight triggers additional orders for the CSeries
* Gran Tierra Energy Inc : CIBC raises target price to C$8.25 from C$7.75 after the company’s 2P reserves increased by 15 percent and its 3P oil reserves increased by 26 percent
* Rocky Mountain Dealerships Inc : Canaccord Genuity raises target price to C$14.75 from C$13.50, expects the company to continue to improve gross margins as it improves upon the acquired location margins
* No major Canadian economic data scheduled for release
* Major U.S. events and data includes ISM non-manufacturing index and consumer confidence data