September 26, 2011 / 12:32 PM / 6 years ago

CANADA STOCKS-TSX may open higher on euro zone action plan

Sept 26 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index looked set to open higher on Monday, buoyed by hopes of stronger action by the European Central Bank to solve the euro zone crisis and avert wider financial contagion and a global recession.

FACTORS TO WATCH

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

* U.S. stock index futures rose on hopes policymakers were putting together new measures to help ease Europe’s debt crisis, though the lack of clarity on their effectiveness was expected to keep markets volatile. [.N]

* European share prices rose in choppy trade as recently hammered financial shares rebounded on hopes that governments and the European Central Bank will take action to tackle the region’s debt crisis. [.EU]

* Markets in Asia were weaker, with the Nikkei sliding to its lowest close since April 2009 as it caught up with Wall Street losses after a three-day weekend. ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ To receive an early e-mail of Reuters Morning News Call - Canada -- a preview of market moving news -- Thomson Reuters subscribers can register at [CA/MNC] ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

COMMODITY PRICE MOVES

* The Thomson Reuters/Jefferies CRB index .CRB, a global commodities benchmark, rose 0.23 percent in early trade.

* Brent crude oil rose more than $1 per barrel, bouncing back from seven-week lows on hopes of stronger action to solve the euro zone crisis and avert wider financial contagion and global recession. [O/R]

* Gold was set for its biggest three-day loss in 28 years. [GOL/]

* A weak U.S. dollar helped copper rebound from 14-month lows hit earlier on Monday, but fears of a Greek debt default and the threat of a global recession continued to put pressure on the demand outlook for industrial metals. [MET/L]

CANADIAN STOCKS TO WATCH

* Valeant Pharmaceuticals International (VRX.TO) said on Monday it planned raise its takeover offer for Canadian cold and flu medicine maker Afexa Life Sciences FXA.TO to 85 Canadian cents a share, topping an offer from Paladin Labs. [ID:nS1E78P072]

* Intact Financial Corp IFC.TO: The home and auto insurer said it will sell AXA Canada’s life insurance business to SSQ Life Insurance Company Inc for $300 million, and plans to use the proceeds to cut debt. [ID:nL3E7G41T0]

* Claude Resources CRJ.TO: The gold explorer said it found more high-grade gold at a section of its Seabee project near Saskatchewan. [ID:nL3E7KQ23F]

* Mindoro Resources Ltd. MIO.V: The company said it found high-grade gold at its Lobo mine in Batangas Province, the Philippines. [ID:nL3E7KQ20L]

ANALYST RECOMMENDATIONS

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

* AGF Management Ltd (AGFb.TO) price target cut to C$19.25 from C$19.75 at CIBC

* Eastern Platinum Ltd (ELR.TO) price target cut to C$1.70 from C$2.40 at Canaccord Genuity

* Emera Inc (EMA.TO) rating cut to sector perform from outperform at National Bank

* Petrominerales Ltd PMG.TO price target cut to C$36.75 from C$37.50 at CIBC

$1= $1.03 Canadian Reporting by Karan Khemani; Editing by Jeffrey Hodgson

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