May 24, 2011 / 12:38 PM / in 6 years

CANADA STOCKS-TSX set to open lower on euro zone debt concerns

May 24 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index looked set to opener lower on Tuesday as the market, which was closed on Monday, plays catch up with sharp declines in major markets earlier this week.

Investor concerns about the euro zone’s ongoing debt problems are also expected to weigh, with new warnings about contagion fueling fears the crisis is heading for a new, more dangerous phase.

FACTORS TO WATCH

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

* U.S. stock index futures rose with higher oil prices leading a rebound from a steep sell-off in the previous session that sent stocks to their lowest close in a month. [.N]

* European shares rose led by the mining sector after base metal prices gained, with copper higher as Goldman Sachs said that it expected Chinese purchases to pick up in the coming months. [.EU]

* Asian stocks were mostly steady with Nikkei average edging higher after hitting a fresh five-week low, helped by climbs in Sony Corp and construction machinery shares.

COMMODITY PRICE MOVES

* The Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB index .CRB, a global commodities benchmark, rose 0.84 percent in early trade.

* Oil rose more than $1 per barrel after Goldman Sachs raised its forecasts for North Sea Brent crude, citing strong fuel demand growth. [O/R]

* Gold rose to a two-week high as concerns about a spreading EU debt crisis fueled safe haven buying, while a softer dollar provided support. [GOL/]

* Copper rose recovering with a weaker dollar, but worries over European sovereign debt contagion and Chinese demand suggest gains could be short-lived. [MET/L]

CANADIAN STOCKS TO WATCH

* Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. (VRX.TO): The company said it would buy Lithuania-based AB Sanitas for about 314 million euros in cash, to expand its European branded generics product portfolio. [ID:nL3E7GO0YS]

* Enbridge Inc. (ENB.TO): The Ozark oil pipeline is running at reduced rates after a power outage following storms in southwestern Missouri, an Enbridge spokesman said on Monday. [ID:nN23194052]

* TMX Group (X.TO): The operator of the Toronto Stock Exchange said on Friday its board has rejected a C$3.6 billion takeover bid from a group of Canadian banks and pension funds. [ID:nN20282262]

* Husky Energy Inc. (HSE.TO): The company said on Friday that its oil and gas production has been cut by the equivalent of 17,000 barrels per day because of wildfires in northern Alberta. [ID:nN20283370]

* Kirkland Lake Gold Inc. KGI.TO: The gold miner said its quarterly gold production rose 56 percent. [ID:nL3E7GO1MI]

* Niko Resources Ltd. (NKO.TO): The oil and gas company said Norway’s Statoil through its units will become a joint venture partner in Niko’s production sharing contracts in Indonesia. [ID:nL3E7GO1MG]

ANALYST RECOMMENDATIONS

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

* Artis REIT AX_u.TO price target raised to C$15.50 from C$14.50 at CIBC

* Secure Energy Services SES.TO price target raised to C$10 from C$7.50 at CIBC

* Trilogy Energy Corp TET.TO price target raised to C$26.50 from C$23 at CIBC

$1= $0.98 Canadian Reporting by Anil Kumar; Editing by Jeffrey Hodgson

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