April 3, 2013 / 12:27 PM / in 5 years

CANADA STOCKS-TSX may open higher; central banks eyed

April 3 (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index looked set to open slightly higher on Wednesday, though investors remain cautious ahead of North American jobs data on Friday and this week’s policy decisions by the Bank of Japan and European Central Bank.

TOP STORIES

* The rate of consumer price inflation in the 17 countries using the euro fell to an annual rate of 1.7 percent in March, according to a first estimate from the EU’s statistics agency Eurostat.

* Shares in Vodafone fell after Verizon Communications ruled out a full takeover, turning the focus yet again to whether the two telecom giants can do a deal over their Verizon Wireless joint venture.

* Growth in China’s services sectors rose to multi-month highs in March as a construction boom and firmer demand lifted business and confidence, auguring well for a modest recovery in the world’s second largest economy.

* British construction output contracted in March for the third month in a row, a survey showed, suggesting the sector will have weighed on economic growth in the first quarter.

* U.S. pipeline regulators on Tuesday ordered Exxon Mobil Corp to take necessary corrective action for its ruptured pipeline that spilled thousands of barrels of crude oil into a small Arkansas housing development last week.

MARKET SNAPSHOT

* Canada stock futures were slightly higher

* U.S. stock futures , , were up around 0.01 percent and 0.15 percent

* European shares, were down

COMMODITY PRICE MOVES

* Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB Index : 293.2154; fell 0.28 percent

* Gold futures : $1,570.9; fell 0.27 percent

* US crude : $96.71; fell 0.49 percent

* Brent crude : $110.01; fell 0.61 percent

* LME 3-month copper : $7,445; fell 0.27 percent

CANADIAN STOCKS TO WATCH

* Suncor Energy Inc : The energy major said its average oil sands production rose 6.2 percent to 375,000 barrels per day in March from 353,000 the previous month.

Separately, the reserve estimate for the company’s Terra Nova field offshore Newfoundland has been raised by 21 percent, the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board said on Tuesday.

ANALYSTS’ RECOMMENDATIONS

Following is a summary of research actions on Canadian companies reported by Reuters.

* Bri-Chem Corp : CIBC cuts target price to C$2.35 from C$2.75 following the company’s lower-than-expected results in the fourth quarter.

* CI Financial Corp : Canaccord Genuity raises target to C$31 from C$29.50 on target valuation.

* First Quantum Minerals Ltd : CIBC raises target price to C$27 from C$24 citing a lower assumed discount rate for Cobre Panama and the impact of the significant capital outlays in recent months.

* Parkland Fuel Corp : CIBC raises target to C$20 from C$19.50, says the acquisition decision of the company will create a foundation in Quebec for future acquisitions and add to its terminal capacity.

* TransCanada Corp : CIBC raises price target to C$53 from C$52, encouraged by the company’s announcement of the Mainline conversion to oil services as expected.

ON THE CALENDAR

* No major Canadian economic data scheduled for release

* Major U.S. events and data includes ADP national employment and ISM non-manufacturing index

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