March 12, 2010 / 1:11 PM / in 8 years

CANADA STOCKS-TSX may open higher on data, Potash Corp

TORONTO, March 12 (Reuters) - The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE may open higher on Friday as better-than-expected jobs data and a rosy outlook from Potash Corp (POT.TO) boosts Canada’s biggest index.

Canada’s unemployment rate fell to 8.2 percent in February from 8.3 percent in January as 20,900 more people found work in the month, with all the gains coming from full-time jobs, Statistics Canada said. [ID:nN12253705]

Toronto’s main stock index eked out a small gain on Thursday, reaching its highest close in 17 months and finishing higher for a second straight session, thanks to strength in financials and gold miners.[ID:nN11257298]

Here is some of the news that may affect the market.

POTASH CORP

The world’s largest fertilizer maker Potash Corp of Saskatchewan (POT.TO) sharply raised its first-quarter forecast on Thursday, citing a big rebound in demand for potash -- a key crop nutrient.[ID:nN11254666]

ALBERTA ROYALTIES

The government of Alberta said on Thursday it will cut oil and gas royalties in an about-face after nearly three years of bitter complaints from the energy sector and sinking political fortunes for the ruling party.[ID:nN11252042]

AGRIUM INC

Canadian fertilizer maker Agrium Inc (AGU.TO) is abandoning its $5.4 billion bid for U.S. rival CF Industries (CF.N), ending a drawn out takeover battle and bringing CF one step closer to closing a deal with Terra Industries TRA.N.[ID:nN11199837]

CANADIAN DOLLAR

The Canadian dollar rose to its highest level against the U.S. dollar since July 2008 as Canadian employment data came in slightly better than forecasts.[ID:nLDE62B168]

GOLDCORP

Goldcorp G.TO said on Thursday its fourth-quarter adjusted profit more than doubled, as it benefited from sharply higher prices for gold, silver, and copper.[ID:nN11252336]

GOLD RISES

Gold rose towards $1,120 an ounce in Europe on Friday as the dollar hit a three-week low against the euro, helping the metal recover from the lows it hit in the previous session.[ID:nLDE62B0Y1]

OIL UP

Oil rose above $82 on Friday, poised for a second consecutive weekly gain, on a weakening dollar and as views emerged that energy demand would continue to grow in the developing world.[ID:nSGE62B048]

VALE INCO

Striking workers at Vale’s (VALE5.SA) nickel operations in Ontario rejected a contract settlement offer from the company, meaning the eight-month work stoppage will continue, a union official said on Thursday.[ID:nN1275610]

RESEARCH ROUNDUP

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

* Morgan Stanley raises Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS.TO) price target to C$59 from C$58; Rating Overweight

* UBS raises Linamar Corp LNR.TO price target to C$21 from C$19; Rating Buy

* Macquarie cuts Uranium One UUU.TO price target to C$4.10 from C$4.30; Rating Outperform ($1=$1.02 Canadian) (Reporting by Scott Anderson, Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

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