July 23, 2009 / 12:30 PM / 8 years ago

CANADA STOCKS-TSX may open higher on earnings optimism

TORONTO, July 23 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock market index could open higher on Thursday, as firm metals prices and investors’ optimism about this quarter’s earning results could lift the resource-heavy index.

World stocks stabilised near the previous session’s nine-month high after forecast-beating earnings from major firms boosted expectations for a global economic recovery. [ID:nLN726978]

U.S. stock index futures rose slightly on Thursday as investors remained positive following an overall strong earnings season and ahead of results from United Parcel Service Inc UPS.N and McDonald’s Corp MCD.N. [.N]

On Wednesday the S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed down 82.97 points, or 0.79 percent, at 10,432.35.

Here is some news that could affect the market:

ENCANA CORP ECA.TO

EnCana Corp, Canada’s largest energy company, said on Thursday its second-quarter operating profit fell 38 percent, as oil and gas prices tumbled due the impact of the recession on energy demand. [ID:nBNG395960]

POTASH CORP OF SASKATCHEWAN INC POT.TO

Potash Corp, the world’s biggest fertilizer company, posted a 78 percent drop in second-quarter profit hurt by lower sales volumes and cuts its full year profit forecast as buyers continued to be extremely cautious in the wake of the global economic downturn. [ID:nBNG368711]

TECK RESOURCES TCKb.TO

Canadian mining giant Teck Resources said on Wednesday its second-quarter operating profit fell from a year ago, as strong earnings from its coal business failed to offset pricing and volume declines in its copper and zinc businesses. [ID:nN22336588]

NORTEL NRTLQ.PK

Swedish telecom equipment maker Ericsson said on Thursday it is in the bidding for Nortel’s mobile network unit. [ID:nLN56791]

RESEARCH IN MOTION RIM.TO

An auction of the wireless assets of bankrupt Nortel Networks NRTLQ.PK will go ahead as planned on Friday, despite objections from Research in Motion, which said it was blocked from submitting a $1.1 billion bid for the unit earlier this week. [ID:nN22343944]

HUSKY ENERGY INC HSE.TO

Second-quarter profit at Husky Energy Inc HSE.TO tumbled 68 percent as oil and gas prices fell and refining returns shrank with the downturn in the economy, the Canadian energy producer said on Wednesday. [ID:nN21258881]

MAGNA MGa.TO

General Motors’ European business said on Thursday it had agreed to continue detailed talks with both Magna and RHJ International over its German unit Opel. [ID:nLN51941]

OIL EASES

Oil eased slightly but held above $65 a barrel on Thursday, buoyed by European equity markets rising for a ninth straight session and renewed speculation that an economic upturn would boost oil demand. [ID:nSIN419483]

GOLD, BASE METALS

Gold rose to a six-week high in Europe on Thursday as dollar weakness boosted interest in other hard assets, including bullion, before easing below $955 an ounce as the U.S. currency lifted from lows versus the euro. [ID:nLN65574] Base metals were also higher. [ID:nLH683470]

VIA RAIL CANADA

Via Rail Canada, the country’s national passenger service, has started to cancel long-distance trains ahead of a possible strike by 340 locomotive engineers on Friday. Airlines Air Canada ACa.TO and WestJet Airlines Ltd WJA.TO could win extra passengers if there is a rail strike. [ID:nN22316821]

MAGNA ENTERTAINMENT CORP MECAQ.PK

Racetrack operator Magna Entertainment Corp fraudulently transferred more than $125 million to companies controlled by Canadian billionaire Frank Stronach before filing for bankruptcy, creditors charged in a court filing. [ID:nN22345434]

CANADA RESEARCH

* Raymond James raises Amerigo Resources ARG.TO to outperform from market perform. [ID:nBNG524879]

* RBC raises Shoppers Drug Mart SC.TO price target to C$56 from C$54; rating outperform. [ID:nWNAB0851]

* RBC cuts Primary Energy PRI_u.TO price target to C$2 from C$3; rating sector perform. [ID:nWNAB0848]

For more research, please see: [CA-RCH]

$1=$1.10 Canadian Reporting by Nina Lex; Editing by Jeffrey Hodgson

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