Aug 5 (Reuters) - Toronto’s resource heavy index could open higher on Thursday as stronger-than-expected results from mining giant Rio Tinto (RIO.AX) stirred optimism about the sector.
Canadian equity futures pointed to a higher open. <0#SXF:>, even as the Reuters-Jefferies CRB index .CRB, a global commodities benchmark, was down 0.11 percent in early trade.
Wall Street is set for a slightly higher start as investors took a cautious track ahead of the morning’s labor data, a precursor to Friday’s monthly jobs report. [.N]
European stocks hit a three-month high, but gains were capped by a bit of disappointment on the earnings front.
The European Central Bank and the Bank of England left interest rate unchanged.
Asian markets were mixed with the Nikkei gaining 1.7 percent, while the Chinese shares faltered as property stocks weighed after Beijing ordered new bank stress tests and tightened mortgage rules.
Here is some news that could affect stock prices:
Oil prices fell for a second day on Thursday towards $82 a barrel after a hike in product inventories in top consumer the United States stoked doubts about the pace of fuel demand recovery. [O/R]
Copper eased on Thursday as moves by top consumer China to tighten rules for its mortgage lenders offset improving risk appetite, while investors looked ahead to key jobs data in the United States on Friday. [MET/L]
Gold edged higher in Europe on Thursday, heading for its seventh successive daily gain, as fund buying and consumer demand in Asia helped offset the impact of a recovery in the dollar and a decline in ETF holdings. [GOL/]
Canada’s dollar hit a 13-week high against the U.S. dollar on Thursday, spurred by possible merger and acquisition-related flows and a more positive mood in the markets ahead of key North American jobs reports on Friday. [CAD/]
Canadian stocks to watch include:
India has not yet reached an agreement with the BlackBerry maker, the country’s telecoms minister said on Thursday, after the government raised security concerns over the popular services. [ID:nSGE6740B9]
GREAT WEST LIFECO INC (GWO.TO)
Canada’s No. 2 life insurer said on Wednesday its profit rose nearly 5 percent in the second quarter amid strong sales in key markets. [ID:nN04274870]
Canada’s third-largest insurer, said on Wednesday its net profit was slashed by more than half as it was hit by turbulent market conditions in the second quarter. [ID:nN04261095]
AIR CANADA ACa.TOACb.TO
Air Canada on Thursday reported a second-quarter loss, hurt by higher operating expenses, and said it expects third-quarter cost per available seat mile (CASM), excluding fuel expense, to decline. [ID:nSGE6740G5]
WESTJET AIRLINES LTD (WJA.TO)
WestJet Airlines posted a big jump in quarterly profit on Thursday, but the discount carrier said it would delay delivery of some planes and boost capacity largely outside Canada due to economic uncertainty. [ID:nN05212447]
Canada’s biggest communications company’s quarterly profit jumped 71 percent on lower costs, and it lifted its full-year revenue and adjusted earnings forecast based on sturdy results. [ID:nN05222165]
Canada’s biggest publicly traded drugmaker said second-quarter earnings rose, driven by strong sales of its antidepressant drug Wellbutrin and its portfolio of generic products. [ID:nN05225325]
PENN WEST ENERGY TRUST PWT_u.TO
Penn West on Thursday reported a quarterly profit on higher crude oil prices, and said it expects 2010 capital spending to be at the upper end of its forecast. [ID:nSGE6740I3]
CANADIAN NATURAL RESOURCES LTD (CNQ.TO)
Canada’s biggest independent oil explorer, reported a more than four-fold jump in quarterly net profit, helped by higher prices and better production volumes. [ID:nSGE6740EF]
KINROSS GOLD (K.TO)
Kinross Gold said on Wednesday it posted a stronger second-quarter profit as record gold prices more than offset the impact of higher costs and a slight decrease in output. [ID:nN04257206]
COTT CORP (BCB.TO)
Cott Corp’s quarterly profit took a hit from higher taxes and an extended North American promotional campaign by competitors, the world’s biggest maker of private-label soft drinks said on Wednesday. [ID:nN03183380]
HUDBAY MINERALS (HBM.TO)
HudBay Minerals said on Wednesday its quarterly operating results rose, driven by stronger metal prices, and said it would start paying a semi-annual dividend and list on the New York Stock Exchange. [ID:nN30175190]
Following is a summary of research actions on Canadian companies reported by Reuters. [RCH/CA]
Note: All values in RESEARCH ROUNDUP in Canadian currency, unless otherwise stated.
* Cinch Energy CNH.TO target price raised to $1.75 from $1.60; outperformed rating at Raymond James
* First Uranium FIU.TO target price cut to $1.60 from $1.80; outperform rating at Raymond James
* Hathor Exploration HAT.V target price cut to $3 from $4; strong buy rating at Raymond James
* McCoy Corp (MCB.TO) target price raised to $4.25 from $3.25; strong buy rating at Raymond James
* North American Energy NOA.TO target price cut to $11.50 from $12; outperform rating at Raymond James
* Uranium Participation (U.TO) price target cut to $7 from $8.70; downgraded to market perform at Raymond James
Reporting by Bangalore newsroom, editing by Bhaswati Mukhopadhyay and Jeffrey Hodgson