April 4 (Reuters) - Toronto’s resource-heavy main stock index looked set to open higher on Monday, extending gains from the previous session, helped by higher commodity prices and the impact of recent takeover bids on investor sentiment.
Toronto-listed shares of Equinox Minerals EQN.TO were set to jump after Minmetals Resources (1208.HK), China’s biggest metals trading firm, offered $6.5 billion to buy the company. [ID:nL3E7F30DI]
New Gold (NGD.TO), an intermediate gold producer with mines in Mexico, Australia and the United States, also said on Monday it agreed to acquire Richfield Ventures RVC.V in an all stock deal valued at C$550 million ($573 million)
* Canadian equity futures <0#SXF:> pointed to a higher open.
* U.S. stock index futures edged higher on Monday, with the S&P 500 facing a level where selling has clustered in recent sessions. [.N]
* European shares edged up to a three-week high, with telecoms heavyweight Vodafone rising after a major disposal, though strategists said an expected euro zone interest rate rise could cap further gains in the months ahead. [.EU]
* Asian shares climbed to their highest in nearly 3 years but the Nikkei struggled to extend gains as uncertainty over Japan’s economic outlook and a prolonged nuclear safety crisis curbed enthusiasm.
* The Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB index .CRB, a global commodities benchmark, rose 0.49 percent to 361.30 in early trade. The index is still eyeing 366.71 this week, as its uptrend has resumed towards the March 7 high. The index has almost fully recovered the correction, signaling it may be successful in its second attempt to break the resistance.
* Brent crude rose towards $120 a barrel and U.S. crude hit a 2-1/2-year high above $108 as unrest in the Middle East and North Africa kept the focus on oil supplies as economic growth bolstered demand for fuel. [O/R]
* Gold rose back above $1,430 an ounce in Europe as oil prices climbed and the dollar eased, and as traders anticipate a rate hike from the European Central Bank may lead to further weakness in the U.S. unit. [GOL/]
* Copper rose as recent jobs data from the United States boosted prospects for metals demand growth and risk appetite but concerns over slowing consumption in Japan capped gains. [MET/L]
* Teck Resources Limited TCKb.TO: The company and union negotiators have reached a tentative agreement to end a two-month strike at the company’s Elkview metallurgical coal mine in western Canada. [ID:nN03118747]
* Petrominerales Ltd. PMG.TO: Latin America-focussed oil producer’s first-quarter production rose 6 percent, mainly on additions from its Yatay and Mantis wells in Colombia. [ID:nL3E7F41GO]
Following is a summary of research actions on Canadian companies reported by Reuters. [RCH/CA]
* Allied Properties REIT (AP_u.TO) rating raised to outperform from sector perform at National Bank
* Carmanah Technologies Corp (CMH.TO) price target cut to C$1 from C$1.10; rating buy at Canaccord Genuity
* Etrion SA (ETX.TO) coverage started with outperform rating; price target of C$1.20 at National Bank
* Richfield Ventures Corp RVC.V coverage started with speculative buy rating; price target of C$12 at Paradigm
$1= $0.96 Canadian Writing by Kishan Nair; editing by Jeffrey Hodgson