February 9, 2011 / 1:46 PM / 7 years ago

CANADA STOCKS-TSX may open down; soft commodities offset TMX bid

TORONTO, Feb 9 (Reuters) - Canadian stocks looked set to open weaker on Wednesday as the impact of the London Stock Exchange’s surprise bid to buy TMX Group (X.TO) was more than offset by soft commodity prices and weak global equity markets.

FACTORS TO WATCH

* TMX Group: The company which is in advanced talks to be taken over by the London Stock Exchange swung to a fourth-quarter profit from a year-ago loss on the back of higher revenue from trading, issuer and information services. [ID:nN08113519]

Separately, the London Stock Exchange is to buy TMX stock exchange operator to create the world’s fourth-largest trading centre and claw back some of the market share it has lost in recent years. [ID:nLDE71808S]

* Canadian equity futures <0#SXF:> pointed to a lower open.

* U.S. stock index futures fell a day after the Dow posted its seventh consecutive advance in weak trading volume that could signal the rally is wilting. [.N]

* European shares edged lower from 29-month highs earlier this week, with a number of big stocks trading ex-dividend offsetting a wave of upbeat earnings news. [.EU]

* Chinese shares fell, a day after the central bank raised interest rates for the second time in just over six weeks, with commodity-related and financial firms leading the selloff. Nikkei was also down 0.17 percent on profit-taking.

COMMODITY PRICE MOVES

* The Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB index .CRB, a global commodities benchmark, fell 0.06 percent in early trade.

* Brent crude oil rose back over $100, after data a day earlier showed a drop in U.S. stockpiles and supported by the unrest in Egypt. [O/R]

* Gold held close to the previous session’s near three-week high in Europe, supported by an increased focus on inflation after China’s second interest rate hike in six weeks. [GOL/]

* Copper fell, pressured by a stronger dollar and questions about demand after week-long holidays in China when the metal hit a record high and Beijing raised interest rates for the second time in six weeks. [MET/L]

CANADIAN STOCKS TO WATCH

* Agrium Inc (AGU.TO): The largest North American farm products retailer said on Wednesday its fourth-quarter profit rose as high grain prices fuelled a surge in demand for fertilizer and other farm inputs. [ID:nN09112664]

* WestJet Airlines Ltd. (WJA.TO): The carrier said fourth-quarter profit more than doubled, helped by a rebound in demand for air travel. [ID:nN04206947]

* QLT Inc. QLT.TO: The pharmaceutical company said a mid-stage trial for its experimental allergic conjunctivitis treatment showed the drug did not reduce symptoms compared to a dummy drug. [ID:nSGE7180AQ]

* Intact Financial Corp. (IFC.TO): The home and auto insurer, on Wednesday reported a slightly stronger fourth-quarter profit, helped by a rise in direct premiums written. [ID:nN08294721]

* Energy Fuels Inc. (EFR.TO): The uranium and vanadium mineral development company said on Wednesday a nature-preservation group filed a complaint in a Colorado court over the radioactive materials license the company received for its Pinon Ridge mill. [ID:nSGE7180A8]

* Smart Technologies SMA.TO: The digital whiteboard maker posted a 37 percent decline in third-quarter net income, hurt primarily by lower foreign exchange gains. [ID:nSGE7160CH]

* Sierra Wireless (SW.TO): The Canadian mobile modem maker on Tuesday missed its profit and revenue goals in the fourth-quarter and warned of bumps as it moves major mobile computing customers to its new 4G products. [ID:nN0894448]

* TransAlta Corp. (TA.TO): The company said on Tuesday it will not restart two Alberta coal-fired power plant units shut down since December, after determining they cannot be economically repaired. [ID:nN08107678]

* Teck Resources TCKb.TO: The diversified miner said on Tuesday its quarterly profit rose 76 percent, as a resurgence in the global economy helped boost demand and prices for coal, copper and other commodities. [ID:nN08274685]

* TransCanada Corp. (TRP.TO): The company started making commercial oil deliveries to the Cushing, Oklahoma, storage hub on Tuesday from a newly completed extension of its Keystone pipeline system. [ID:nN0897157]

* Westport Innovations Inc. WPT.TO: The company, which supplies alternative fuel and low-emissions transportation technologies on Tuesday reported a wider quarterly loss, hurt mainly by higher investments for the development of new natural gas engines and higher expenses. [ID:nSGE7170EV]

ANALYST RECOMMENDATIONS

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

* Centerra Gold (CG.TO) price target raised to C$21 from C$20.50; rating hold at Canaccord Genuity

$1= $0.99 Canadian Reporting by Kishan Nair and Bangalore Newsroom; editing by Jeffrey Hodgson

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