March 3, 2010 / 1:09 PM / in 8 years

CANADA STOCKS-TSX may open higher on gold, banks eyed

TORONTO, March 3 (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock market index may open higher on Wednesday, as firm gold and energy prices prop up the commodity-heavy index, but weaker-than-expected results from Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO) may temper gains.

Greece will also be in the spotlight after its government unveiled 4.8 billion euros worth of new austerity measures on Wednesday designed to meet European Union demands for extra savings and pave the way for any rescue from the threat of default. For details, see [ID:nLDE6221AG]

Toronto’s main stock market index closed higher on Tuesday, as commodity prices rallied and impressive quarterly results from Bank of Montreal (BMO.TO) lifted the index’s heavily weighted financial sector.

Here is some news that may affect the market.

ROYAL BANK OF CANADA

Royal Bank of Canada said quarterly profit rose 35 percent on strong domestic banking and lower loan losses, but the results were weaker than some expected, and shares were expected to ebb when trading opens in Toronto. [ID:nN03214185]

OIL HIGHER

Oil topped $80 a barrel on Wednesday, as the dollar weakened and investors looked ahead to a U.S. inventory report expected to show a fall in distillates stocks and higher crude supplies. [ID:nSGE62209X]

GOLD RISES

Gold rose to a six-week high at $1,138.15 an ounce on Wednesday as the dollar extended losses versus the euro, and broader fears over the outlook for paper currencies lent support to the precious metal. [ID:nLDE6220XO]

COPPER WEAKENS

Copper slipped Wednesday, with concerns about supply in quake-hit Chile subsiding as key mines resumed output in the world’s top producer of the metal. [ID:nLDE622166]

TRANSITION THERAPEUTICS

Transition Therapeutics Inc TTH.TO said it reached an exclusive licensing deal with Eli Lilly and Co (LLY.N) for certain diabetes drugs that could yield as much as $250 million in milestone fees. [ID:nSGE6220FP]

RESEARCH ROUNDUP

Following is a summary of research actions on Canadian companies reported by Reuters on Wednesday. [RCH/CA]

* Macquarie raises GMP Capital Inc (GMP.TO) price target to C$13 from C$12.50; rated “neutral”

* UBS raises Bank of Montreal (BMO.TO) price target to C$59 from C$56; rated “neutral”

* Raymond James cuts Cameco Corp (CCO.TO) price target to C$32.30 from C$34; rated “market perform” ($1=$1.03 Canadian) (Reporting by Scott Anderson; editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)

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