May 7, 2010 / 12:50 PM / in 8 years

CANADA STOCKS-TSX may open higher on positive jobs data

May 7 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index could open higher on Friday after data showed a historic rise in domestic jobs growth in April.

Statistics Canada said the economy added 108,700 jobs, the highest since Statscan began tracking the data and exceeding even the most upbeat estimate in a Reuters poll, which yielded a median forecast of 25,000 new jobs. [ID:nN0793308]

The Canadian dollar rallied to a high of $1.0338 to the U.S. dollar as the data added pressure on the Bank of Canada to raise rates soon. [CAD/]

Wall Street looked set for a firmer open after U.S. nonfarm payrolls grew at the fastest pace in four years in April as private sector employers ramped up hiring. [.N]

European markets slipped, extending their three-week sell-off to 11 percent. Asian stocks were hammered, with Nikkei shedding more than 3 percent.

Here is some news that could affect stock prices:

OIL UP

Oil rose toward $78 a barrel, trimming an 11 percent loss from a 19-month high hit earlier this week, as international leaders prepared to meet to try to contain Greece’s debt crisis. [O/R]

COPPER FALLS

Copper fell about 1 percent as hefty sell-offs in global equities and persistent euro zone debt worries combined to dent sentiment. [MET/L]

GOLD EASES

Gold eased below $1,200 an ounce in Europe as investors cashed in some gains after the previous session’s rally to five-month highs, but underlying safe-haven demand is still firmly underpinning prices. [GOL/]

CGI GROUP TO BUY STANLEY

Canadian technology outsourcing and consulting company CGI Group Inc (GIBa.TO) said it agreed to buy rival IT services provider Stanley Inc SXE.N for about $900 million in cash to expand its U.S. footprint. [ID:nSGE6460G2]

SIMON UPS GENERAL GROWTH BID

Simon Property Group Inc (SPG.N) raised its bid for General Growth Properties Inc (GGP.N) on Thursday in a last-ditch attempt to persuade the No. 2 U.S. mall owner to favor its deal over a rival offer led by Brookfield Asset Management Inc (BAMa.TO). [ID:nN06101794]

GENERAL GROWTH SEEN TO BACK BROOKFIELD OFFER

General Growth Properties Inc (GGP.N) is expected to ask a bankruptcy court on Friday to approve an investment led by Brookfield Asset Management Inc (BAMa.TO), after reducing a warrants package by 14 percent, a source familiar with the situation said. [ID:nN07122004]

BROOKFIELD UNIT‘S IPO PLAN

Brookfield Asset Management Inc (BAMa.TO), a global investor in property, power and other infrastructure assets, said on Thursday it had no plans to list its Australian office portfolio on the public market. [ID:nN06127062]

BROOKFIELD, CALLOWAY WARY ON GROWTH VIEW

Two big Canadian real estate companies -- Brookfield Properties BPO.TO and Calloway Real Estate Investment Trust CWT_u.TO-- said they have emerged from recession with higher occupancy rates and rising rental income, but their chief executives showed only muted optimism on Thursday about near-term prospects. [ID:nN06231433]

ENCANA BUYS LAND

EnCana Corp (ECA.TO), Canada’s largest natural gas producer, said it acquired about 250,000 net acres of land on the Collingwood shale play at an average cost of about $150 an acre. [ID:nSGE6460F1]

MI DEVELOPMENTS FFO FALLS

MI Developments MIMa.TO, the real estate arm of Canadian auto parts maker Magna International MGa.TO, reported a 26 percent drop in funds from operations due to reduced interest and other income from Magna Entertainment. [ID:nSGE6460HE]

CANADIAN NATURAL PROFIT UP

First-quarter profit at Canadian Natural Resources Ltd (CNQ.TO), the country’s biggest independent oil explorer, more than doubled on higher oil production and stronger prices, the company said on Thursday. [ID:nN0598066]

EQUINOX MINERALS’ ZAMBIA OUTPUT

Equinox Minerals EQN.TO reported a $32.5 million net profit for the first quarter on Thursday, compared with a year-before loss, as its Lumwana copper mine in Zambia reached commercial production in 2009. [ID:nN06168517]

ENERPLUS RESOURCES PROFIT RISES

Enerplus Resources Fund’s ERF_u.TO, the No. 4 Canadian energy trust, quarterly profit rose 54 percent on the back of stronger oil and gas prices, and said it is converting into a corporation by 2011. [ID:nSGE6460FA]

CRYPTOLOGIC LOSS WIDENS

Internet casino and branded gaming software company CryptoLogic Ltd CRY.TO posted a wider quarterly loss hurt by subdued wagering activity, but forecast second-quarter revenue ahead of the same period last year. [ID:nSGE6460ES]

RESEARCH ROUNDUP

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

Note: All values in RESEARCH ROUNDUP in Canadian currency, unless otherwise stated.

* Air Canada ACa.TO price target raised to $4.50 from $4; rating buy at Salman Partners. Price target cut to $3.75 from $5; rating strong buy at Raymond James. Price target raised to $10.75 from $9.75; rating buy at Genuity

* Alamos Gold (AGI.TO) price target raised to $17 from $16.35; rating buy at Salman Partners

* Armtec Infrastructure Income Fund ARF_u.TO rating raised to outperform from market perform at Raymond James

* BCE Inc (BCE.TO) price target raised to $31 from $28; rating hold at Genuity

* Calloway REIT CWT_u.TO price target raised to $22 from $21; rating outperform at RBC. Price target raised to $22 from $21; rating market perform at Raymond James

* Cathedral Energy Services Income Trust CET.TO price target raised to $9.50 from $8; rating overweight at Thomas Weisel

* Delphi Energy (DEE.TO) price target raised to $3.75 from $3.50; rating buy at Genuity

* Dorel Industries (DIIb.TO) price target raised $47 from $41; rating overweight at Thomas Weisel

* Magna International MGa.TO price target raised to $102 from $79; rating buy at Genuity

* Morguard REIT (MRT_u.TO) price target raised to $14 from $13.75; rating outperform at RBC

* Pristine Power PPX.TO rating cut to hold from buy at Salman Partners

$1=$1.03 Canadian Reporting by Bangalore newsroom, editing by Savio D'Souza and Jeffrey Hodgson

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