Dec 20 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index may open higher on Monday, buoyed by rising commodity prices, though concerns over the euro zone debt crisis could dampen sentiment.
* Canadian equity futures <0#SXF:> pointed to a higher open.
* U.S. stock index futures rose as Wall Street looked to extend three weeks of gains at the start of a holiday-shortened week that is expected to bring thin trading. [.N]
* European stocks extended their gains, with a key index hitting a two-year high, led by mining stocks on the back of buoyant metal prices. [.EU]
* Asian stocks were mostly lower except India’s Sensex, which rose as software majors soared to a record high on optimistic outlook for the sector.
* The Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB index .CRB, a global commodities benchmark, rose 0.69 percent in early trade.
* Oil prices rose as forecasts for continued freezing temperatures in Europe and the U.S. Northeast this week looked set to boost heating fuel demand. [O/R]
* Gold rose for a second day, overcoming the weakness in the euro after a warning from the European Central Bank on the region’s finances encouraged light safe-haven flows into the metal. [GOL/]
* Copper rose, tracking a rally in Shanghai prices as market tightness supported sentiment and investors counted on strong Chinese demand, but gains were capped by worries about debt problems in the euro zone. [MET/L]
* Talisman Energy TLM.TO: South African energy group Sasol said on Monday it would pay $1.05 billion for a 50 percent stake in the independent oil producer’s Farrell Creek shale gas assets. [ID:nLDE6BJ04G]
* Gran Tierra Energy GTE.TO: The oil and gas exploration company said on Monday it has set a capital spending program of $299.2 million for exploration and development in Colombia, Peru, Argentina and Brazil. [ID:nSGE6BJ089]
* Potash One KCL.TO: German fertilizer producer K+S is confident it will be successful in its planned takeover of Potash One, the K+S CEO Norbert Steiner told a German paper. [ID:nLDE6BI05C]
* TransAlta Corp. (TA.TO): The Alberta grid operator expects TransAlta and Capital Power’s (CPX) 450-megawatt Unit 3 at the Keephills coal-fired plant in Alberta to enter service in February. TransAlta and Capital Power are equal partners in the C$1.6 billion project, with Capital Power responsible for construction. [ID:nN17144012]
* Baffinland Iron Mines BIM.TO: Nunavut Iron Ore said on Sunday it would ask regulators for an urgent hearing to block a new shareholder rights plan announced by its hostile takeover target Baffinland. [ID:nN19174632]
* Biox Corp. BX.TO: The biodiesel producer said on Friday it could add about C$3.5 million to revenue on products sold in the third and fourth quarters, as a result of the reinstatement of the biodiesel tax incentive. [ID:nSGE6BG085]
Following is a summary of research actions on Canadian companies reported by Reuters: [RCH/CA]
* Bank of Montreal (BMO.TO) price target cut to C$64 from C$66; rating hold at TD Newcrest;
* Black Diamond Group Ltd BDI.TO target price raised to C$24.50 from C$22 at Raymond James;
* Consolidated Thompson Iron Mines Ltd CLM.TO price target raised to C$16 from C$14.50; rating buy at TD Newcrest;
* Patheon PTI.TO price target cut to C$4 from C$4.50; rating outperform at RBC;
* Uranium One Inc UUU.TO rating upgraded to outperform from market perform at Raymond James.
($1= $1.01 Canadian)
Reporting by Kishan Nair and Bangalore Newsroom