TORONTO, March 1 (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock market index may open higher on Monday on surging copper prices and signs that Greece’s debt troubles could be easing.
Copper hit its highest in more than five weeks on Monday, after a massive earthquake in top producer Chile shut up to one fifth of the country’s output, stoking speculation the metal could revisit a 2010 peak.[ID:nSGE62000O]
Greece may soon announce new steps to cut its budget deficit, a government minister said on Sunday, amid signs that Athens might be nearing a deal with European Union governments to ease the Greek debt crisis. [ID:nLDE61R0BX]
Toronto’s main stock index finished flat on Friday as key financial and resource shares put in a mixed performance, while U.S. economic data reinforced views of tepid growth this year. [ID:nN26250380]
Here is some of the news that may affect the market.
Gold retreated from highs in Europe on Monday to trade little changed from the previous session as the euro surrendered gains versus the dollar, but prices were underpinned by strength in other commodities. [ID:nLDE6200VX]
Mining group Xstrata XTA.L reached a labor agreement with office, technical, and clerical workers at its Sudbury nickel operations in Canada, heading off a potential strike, the firm said on Monday. [ID:nLDE6200BU]
Global miner Rio Tinto (RIO.L) will increase its stake in Canada’s Ivanhoe Mines (IVN.TO) by 2.7 percent to 22.4 percent for $233 million, in a move tied to plans to jointly develop the giant Oyu Tolgoi copper mine in Mongolia.[ID:nSGE62000K]
The Canadian government on Friday said it will propose changes to the tax laws to clarify the treatment of special trusts that some companies create to provide health and life insurance benefits to employees. [ID:nN26121043]
FNX Mining FNX.TO is considering restarting dormant nickel production and seeking acquisitions, but both plans are contingent on Brazilian miner Vale VALE5.SA resolving a seven-month old strike at its Sudbury operations, FNX’s CEO said on Friday. [ID:nSGE61P0I1]
Following is a summary of research actions on Canadian companies reported by Reuters on Monday. [RCH/CA]
* Canaccord Adams raises Research In Motion RIMM.O target price to $100 from $95; Keeps Buy rating
* Thomas Weisel cuts Mullen Group Ltd (MTL.TO) price target to C$17 from C$19; Keeps Overweight rating
* Raymond James raises Wajax Income Fund WJX_u.TO target price to C$24 from C$23; Rating Market Perform ($1=$1.06 Canadian) (Reporting by Scott Anderson; Editing by Theodore d’Afflisio)