(Corrects rise in Bank of Montreal earnings in CANADIAN STOCKS TO WATCH section)
Mar 1 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index looked set to open slightly higher on Tuesday, helped by rising commodity prices, including a fresh move up in the price of oil.
Investors will also keep a close eye on language used by the Bank of Canada when it announces its latest interest rate decision on Tuesday. All 39 forecasters surveyed by Reuters predicted the central bank would keep its key interest rate on hold at 1 percent. [ID:nN24280596]
* Canadian equity futures <0#SXF:> pointed to a higher open.
* The Canadian dollar rose to a three-year high versus the U.S. dollar as the U.S. currency came under broad selling pressure on expectations that interest rates would rise quicker in other parts of the world. [CAD/]
* U.S. stock index futures were up but pared gains as crude oil prices advanced.[.N]
* European shares rose, starting the month on a stronger footing, with sentiment boosted by growing optimism over the outlook for the U.S. economy as investors snapped-up stocks beaten down in the recent sell-off.[.EU]
* Asian stocks rose after influential investor Warren Buffett said he saw the need for major acquisitions, a sign stocks may be cheap.
* The Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB index .CRB, a global commodities benchmark, rose 0.49 percent in early trade.
* ICE Brent crude futures rose $1 to $112.80 a barrel, with the focus still on further potential supply disruptions as unrest in the Middle East and North Africa continued. [O/R]
* Silver prices rose for a third day to their highest level since January 1980 as investors sought a cheaper safe-haven than gold amid turmoil in the Middle East and from an upbeat demand outlook. [GOL/]
* Copper jumped to its highest in more than a week as the spotlight fell on strong fundamentals after an earlier flurry of selling triggered by disappointment with manufacturing data from top consumer China. [MET/L]
* Bank of Montreal’s (BMO.TO) first-quarter profit rose 18 percent due to loan growth, wider interest margins, and improved investment banking fees, Canada’s fourth-largest lender said on Tuesday. [ID:nL3E7E10CZ].
* Trican Well Service Ltd. (TCW.TO): The oil field services company said on Tuesday its fourth-quarter profit jumped nearly four-fold, helped by an increase in North American drilling activity and higher oil prices. [ID:nN01101155].
* New Millennium Capital Corp. NML.V: The company said late Monday that it agreed to extend an iron ore project exclusivity agreement with India’s Tata Steel, which could potentially feed the world’s No.7 steelmaker’s European unit. [ID:nL3E7E10D5]
* Atrium Innovations Inc. ATB.TO: The dietary supplement-makers’ fourth-quarter revenue missed market estimates, hurt mostly by unfavorable exchange rates and lower sales in Germany. [ID:nL3E7DS2DU].
* QLT Inc QLT.TO. The pharmaceutical company posted a fourth-quarter net loss. The company reported net loss of $19.2 million, or 38 cents a share, compared with a profit of $80.6 million, or $1.49 a share, a year ago. [ID:nL3E7E116T]
* Galway Resources GWY.V. The gold exploration company on Tuesday announced promising results from six new drill holes at its California project in the north-eastern part of Columbia. [ID:nN0197078].
Following is a summary of research actions on Canadian companies reported by Reuters. [RCH/CA]
* 5N Plus Inc (VNP.TO) price target raised to C$10.75 from C$9; rating outperform at Stonecap
* Manulife Financial (MFC.TO) price target raised to C$16 from C$15; rating sell at Citigroup
$1= $0.9708 Canadian Reporting by Shrutee Sarkar; editing by Jeffrey Hodgson