March 1, 2016 / 12:54 PM / in a year

CANADA STOCKS-TSX set to open higher as oil gains after China stimulus

March 1 (Reuters) - Stock futures pointed to a higher start for Canada's main stock index on Tuesday after oil prices rose to a two-month high following China's surprise monetary policy easing.

March futures on the S&P TSX index were up 0.89 percent at 7:30 a.m. ET.

Canada's fourth-quarter gross domestic product growth data is due at 8:30 a.m. ET and RBC's Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index at 9:30 a.m. ET.

China has cut the amount of cash that banks must hold as reserves, positively surprising markets as the move frees up an estimated $100 billion for fresh lending.

Weak manufacturing data from Europe, which strengthened the case for more stimulus from the European Central Bank next week, also boosted investor sentiment.

Canada's main stock index rose on Monday as commodity market gains drove resource stocks higher, while Valeant Pharmaceuticals International fell on news the company is under investigation by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Dow Jones Industrial Average e-mini futures were up 0.74 percent at 7:30 a.m. ET. S&P 500 e-mini futures were up 0.79 percent and Nasdaq 100 e-mini futures were up 0.80 percent.

(Morning News Call newsletter link.reuters.com/nex49s; The Day Ahead newsletter link.reuters.com/mex49s)

TOP STORIES

Bank of Nova Scotia, Canada's third-largest bank, reported a 5.1 percent rise in quarterly profit, helped by growth in its international banking business.

Maple Leaf Foods reported a quarterly profit, compared with a year-earlier loss, helped by improved margins in its prepared meats business.

WestJet Airlines Ltd has started talks with aircraft makers on replacements for its fleet of Boeing 767-300 planes, with delivery of the new planes expected by the end of this decade.

COMMODITIES AT 7:30 a.m. ET

Gold futures : $1,244.30; +0.84 pct

US crude : $34.29; +1.57 pct

Brent crude : $36.82; +0.68 pct

LME 3-month copper : $4,724.00; +0.62 pct

ANALYST RESEARCH HIGHLIGHTS

Acadian Timber Corp : CIBC starts coverage with "sector performer" rating; target price C$20

Delphi Energy Corp : Raymond James cuts target price to C$1.75 from C$1.85; rating "strong buy"

Prairiesky Royalty Ltd : NBF raises target price to C$24 from C$23; rating "outperform"

U.S. ECONOMIC DATA DUE ON TUESDAY

0855 Johnson Redbook retail sales index mm: Prior -2.3 pct

0855 Johnson Redbook retail sales index yy: Prior +1.2 pct

0945 Markit Manufacturing PMI Final for Feb: Prior 51.0

1000 Construction spending mm for Jan: Expected +0.4 pct; Prior +0.1 pct

1000 ISM Manufacturing PMI for Feb: Expected 48.5; Prior 48.2

1000 ISM Manufacturing Prices Paid Index for Feb: Expected 34.5; Prior 33.5

1000 ISM Manufacturing Employment Index for Feb: Expected 46.4; Prior 45.9

1000 ISM Manufacturing New Orders Index for Feb: Prior 51.5

1030 Texas Services Sector Outlook for Feb: Prior -10.4

1030 Dallas Fed Services Revenue Index for Feb: Prior 10.0

1330 Domestic car sales for Feb: Expected 5.50 mln; Prior 5.54 mln

1330 Domestic truck sales for Feb: Expected 8.49 mln; Prior 8.62 mln

1330 Total vehicle sales for Feb: Expected 17.68 mln; Prior 17.58 mln

1330 All car sales for Feb: Prior 7.43 mln

1330 All truck sales for Feb: Prior 10.15 mln

FOR CANADIAN MARKETS NEWS, CLICK ON CODES:

TSX market report

Canadian dollar and bonds report

Reuters global stocks poll for Canada

Canadian markets directory ($1= C$1.35) (Reporting by Nikhil Kumar in Bengaluru; Editing by Kirti Pandey)

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