Dec 1 (Reuters) - Toronto’s resource-heavy main stock index looked set to open higher on Wednesday as investor sentiment was boosted by strong manufacturing data from China, the biggest consumer of commodities.
* Canadian equity futures <0#SXF:> pointed to a higher open.
* December started on a high note for U.S. stock index futures as upbeat Chinese factory data lifted investor confidence about a global economic recovery, and the euro bounced back from 10-week lows. [.N]
* European shares rebounded from the previous session’s seven-week low as strong factory output data from China, one of the world’s top metals consumers, boosted miners, while carmakers advanced on positive outlook. [.EU]
* The Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB index .CRB, a global commodities benchmark, rose 0.95 percent in early trade.
* Oil rose to above $85 a barrel as rising factory output in China and a report saying U.S. inventories declined countered lingering concern about Europe’s debt problems. [O/R]
* Gold rose above $1,395 an ounce in Europe and hit record highs in euro and sterling terms as concerns over the spread of the euro zone debt crisis prompted buying of the precious metal as a haven from risk. [GOL/]
* Copper rose to its highest in more than a week, buoyed by data out of top consumer China and a weaker dollar. [MET/L]
* Rogers Communications (RCIb.TO): The company is in discussions to acquire professional hockey team Toronto Maple Leafs in a deal worth more than C$1 billion, the Toronto Star reported, citing sources. [ID:nSGE6B005G]
* Husky Energy (HSE.TO): Hutchison Whampoa Ltd said on Wednesday it had agreed to buy $337 million worth of shares to maintain its stake in the oil producer and refiner. [ID:nTOE6B000S]
* National Bank of Canada (NA.TO): The bank reported on Tuesday a stronger than expected 19 percent jump in fourth-quarter profit, and became the first major domestic bank to resume dividend hikes in the wake of the financial crisis with a 6.5 percent rise. [ID:nN30174732]
* Descartes Systems Group Inc. (DSG.TO): The company, which provides logistics management software and services, reported on Wednesday a 60 percent jump in third-quarter profit, helped by a higher service revenue. [ID:nSGE6B00JV]
* Avalon Rare Metals (AVL.TO): The rare earth exploration company said on Tuesday it had received approval from NYSE regulators to apply for a listing on the NYSE Amex exchange. [ID:nN30293400]
* Vitran Corp. VTN.TO: North American cross-border trucking company said it sold certain assets of its unit, Frontier Transport Corp, to Indianapolis-based Online Transport for about $5 million. [ID:nSGE6AT0FT]
Following is a summary of research actions on Canadian companies reported by Reuters. [RCH/CA]
* Alange Energy ALE.V price target cut to C$0.65 from C$0.70; keeps market perform at Raymond James
* Compass Petroleum CPO.V coverage started with outperform rating; price target of C$1.50 at Raymond James
* Hathor Exploration HAT.V price target raised to C$3.60 from C$3.30; keeps outperform rating at Raymond James
* Methanex Corp (MX.TO) rating cut to outperform from strong buy at Raymond James
$1= $1.02 Canadian Reporting by Kishan Nair and Bangalore Newsroom; editing by Jeffrey Hodgson