April 1 (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index looked set to open slightly higher on the first trading day of the quarter as investors wait for signs of improvement in the world’s largest economy ahead of U.S. purchasing managers and manufacturing data.
* Stronger domestic demand helped China’s factory activity to rebound in March, with new orders up sharply in a sign that the underlying economic recovery is strong enough to weather any risks from patchy export performance, surveys showed
* Exxon Mobil on Sunday continued cleanup of a pipeline spill that spewed thousands of barrels of heavy Canadian crude in Arkansas as opponents of oil sands development latched on to the incident to attack plans to build the Keystone XL line.
* A U.S. shareholder lawsuit accusing smartphone manufacturer BlackBerry of seeking to fraudulently obscure its falling market position was dismissed on Friday.
* Major depositors in Cyprus’s biggest bank will lose around 60 percent of savings over 100,000 euros, its central bank confirmed on Saturday, sharpening the terms of a bailout that has shaken European banks but saved the island from bankruptcy.
* Suncor Energy Inc received a corrective action order from Alberta’s environment department on Thursday, two years after a pond that discharges treated water into the Athabasca River failed a waste-water toxicity test.
* Canada stock futures traded up around 0.08 percent
* U.S. stock futures , , were up around 0.02 percent and 0.1 percent
* European markets, were closed
* Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB Index : 296.0823; fell 0.28 percent
* Gold futures : $1,598.2; rose 0.21 percent
* US crude : $96.64; fell 0.61 percent
* Brent crude : $109.93; fell 0.08 percent
Following is a summary of research actions on Canadian companies reported by Reuters.
* 5N Plus Inc : NBF cuts rating to sector perform from outperform and reduces price target to C$3 from C$3.50 following the company’s below-the-line earnings in the fourth quarter of 2012.
* Glacier Media Inc : RBC cuts price target to C$2 from C$2.25 to reflect the company’s slightly lower organic revenue growth and margin assumptions in community media and trade.
* Ithaca Energy Inc : CIBC resumes coverage with sector performer rating, says the acquisition of Valiant Petroleum Plc provides near-term production and cash flow as first production is set to come from the Greater Stella Area.
* Potash Corp : Canaccord Genuity cuts target price to $41 from $42, says the company’s attempt to purchase Israel Chemicals Corp is not a positive development.
* Sprott Inc : CIBC cuts to sector underperformer from sector performer as the company’s performance in the fourth quarter remained mostly in line with expectations.
* No major Canadian economic data scheduled for release
* Major U.S. events and data includes Markit manufacturing PMI and ISM manufacturing data