December 12, 2013 / 1:32 PM / in 4 years

CANADA STOCKS-TSX may open lower, Fed taper concern weighs

Dec 12 (Reuters) - After recording its biggest single-day fall in 5-1/2 months in the previous session, Canada’s main stock index looked set to open lower on Thursday as speculation about the timing of the Federal Reserve’s stimulus program continued to weigh on investor sentiment.

TOP STORIES

* Bondholders and large depositors in a failing European bank face losses from the start of 2016, European Union negotiators agreed on Wednesday, in a deal to spare taxpayers from further bailouts.

* Samsung Electronics Co Ltd lost its bid to ban sales of Apple Inc’s older iPhone and iPad in South Korea after a court dismissed a lawsuit claiming the U.S. firm had infringed on three of Samsung’s mobile patents.

* Fortis Inc has reached a friendly deal to buy Arizona-focused utility UNS Energy Corp for about $2.5 billion in cash, the power company said on Wednesday, as it looks to expand its presence in the United States.

* BRP Inc, the maker of Ski-Doo snowmobiles and Sea-Doo watercraft, reported a 52 percent rise in quarterly profit, driven by strong shipments of snowmobiles worldwide, and it raised its full-year adjusted profit forecast.

* Travel operator Transat AT Inc’s quarterly profit more than tripled as better pricing boosted margins.

* Freeport McMoRan Copper & Gold warned that Indonesia’s plan to ban mineral exports from next month would cut the firm’s revenues in the country by 65 percent, costing Southeast Asia’s biggest economy $1.6 billion in lost revenue next year.

MARKET SNAPSHOT

* Canada stock futures traded down 0.23 percent

* U.S. stock futures , , were down around 0.06 percent and 0.13 percent

* European shares, were down

COMMODITY PRICE MOVES

* Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB Index : 281.9059; rose 0.11 percent

* Gold futures : $1,238.2; fell 1.61 percent

* US crude : $97.81; rose 0.38 percent

* Brent crude : $109.47; fell 0.21 percent

* LME 3-month copper : $7,234; rose 0.19 percent

CANADIAN STOCKS TO WATCH

* Bombardier Inc : The company said that American Airlines Group Inc would buy 30 of its CRJ900 NextGen aircraft and had also taken options on an additional 40 planes.

* Air Canada : The company said on Wednesday it will purchase up to 109 of Boeing Co’s 737 MAX under its narrow-body fleet renewal plan, a major win for the aircraft maker and significant shift in supplier for Canada’s largest carrier.

* Canadian National Railway Co : The rail operator said on Wednesday that it aims to improve its industry-leading operating efficiency over the next three years, even as it carries more goods.

* Cenovus Energy Inc : The independent oil producer said it expected to spend 13 percent less in 2014, and forecast a 10 percent jump in oil production.

ANALYSTS’ RECOMMENDATIONS

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

* Fortis Inc : Canaccord Genuity cuts target price to C$31 from C$34, says the company’s announced acquisition of UNS Energy Corp is accretive but the financing structure could cap share prices

* North West Company Inc : Barclays raises target price to C$26 from C$25 after the company’s third-quarter results were better than expected

ON THE CALENDAR

* Major Canadian economic data includes new housing PI and capital utilisation

* Major U.S. events and data includes jobless claims and retail sales

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