April 26, 2011 / 12:32 PM / in 7 years

CANADA STOCKS-TSX may edge higher at open, commodities weigh

April 26 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index looked set to open slightly higher on Tuesday, with hopes for stronger North American corporate earnings offsetting a dip in gold, silver and some other commodity prices.

FACTORS TO WATCH

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

* U.S. stock index futures rose ahead of a big day for corporate earnings that includes bellwethers like Amazon.com, Ford, UPS and 3M Company. [.N]

* European shares bounced back to a two-week high, with financials gaining the most after UBS reported results, gains were however capped by weaker miners on sharply lower metals prices. [.EU]

* Asian shares pulled back from recent three-year highs with Japan’s Nikkei falling at a one-week low, losing 1.2 percent as exporters were hit by a stronger yen in thin trade ahead of corporate earnings announcements.

COMMODITY PRICE MOVES

* The Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB index .CRB, a global commodities benchmark, fell 0.08 percent in early trade.

* Oil edged up from earlier losses in low trading volumes as some investors took advantage of the dip to buy, though gains were limited ahead of a closely watched U.S. Federal Reserve policy meeting. [O/R]

* Silver and gold tumbled as investors sold on uncertainty about the direction of monetary policy in the United States, but a softer dollar helped support prices and sentiment. [GOL/]

* Copper fell as investors returning from the Easter long weekend digested data showing a plunge in China’s imports of refined copper and the market remained nervous amid volatility in precious metals. [MET/L]

CANADIAN STOCKS TO WATCH

* Barrick Gold Corp. (ABX.TO): China’s Minmetals Resources bowed out of the battle for copper miner Equinox Minerals EQN.TO, saying the gold miner’s C$7.3 billion bid was too rich. [ID:nL3E7FQ05D]

* Precision Drilling Corp. (PD.TO): The oil- and gas-well drilling company, reported a 15 percent rise in first-quarter profit helped by increase in drilling activity in Canada and the United States as well as higher dayrates in both the markets. [ID:nL3E7FQ1KL]

* Savanna Energy Services Corp SVY.TO: The company said it would buy well servicing company Performance Services Ltd in an all-stock deal valued at about C$35.3 million. [ID:nL3E7FP2SL]

* Ithaca Energy IAE.V: British oil explorer raised reserves estimates for its North Sea operations, driven mainly by its acquisition of gas fields in the North Sea last year, and said it would continue to scout for asset acquisitions. [nL3E7FQ0VN]

ANALYST RECOMMENDATIONS

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

* Anvil Mining AVM.TO coverage started with sector performer rating and price target of C$7 at CIBC

* Mediagrif Interactive Technologies (MDF.TO) coverage started with outperform rating and C$13.75 price target at National Bank

* Savanna Energy Services Corp SVY.TO price target raised to C$11.50 from C$11, rating sector performer at CIBC; price target raised to C$10 from C$9, rating sector perform at RBC

* Second Wave Petroleum Inc SCS.TO price target raised to C$3.45 from C$2.70, rating sector perform at National Bank

$1= $0.95 Canadian Reporting by Anil Kumar; editing by Jeffrey Hodgson

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