February 13, 2015 / 1:53 PM / in 3 years

CANADA STOCKS-TSX set to open higher; factory sales beat estimates

(Adds econ data and TransCanada results)

Feb 13 (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index was poised for a higher start on Friday as the country’s factory sales in December came higher than analysts’ expectations.

March futures on the S&P TSX index were up 0.36 percent at 8.30 a.m. ET.

Canadian factory sales in December rose by a higher-than-expected 1.7 percent from November as a drop in the sale of petroleum and coal products was offset by gains in transportation equipment, machinery and food sales, Statistics Canada data indicated.

Big insurers weighed on Canada’s main stock index on Thursday, but major banks and blue-chip energy companies pushed the market higher as crude oil prices rallied.

Dow Jones Industrial Average e-mini futures were up 0.24 percent at 8.30 a.m. ET on Friday, while S&P 500 e-mini futures were up 0.19 percent and Nasdaq 100 e-mini futures were up 0.21 percent. (Morning News Call newsletter link.reuters.com/nex49s; The Day Ahead newsletter link.reuters.com/mex49s)

TOP STORIES

TransCanada Corp, Canada’s second-largest pipeline company, reported a 9 percent rise in quarterly profit, helped by higher earnings from its Canadian pipelines such as Canadian Mainline.

Sun News Network has shut down after searching for a potential buyer for months, Sun Media Corp said.

Canadian mortgage lender Home Capital Group Inc is not being hurt by the oil price collapse and does not have any significant exposure to the Alberta market, its chief executive told Reuters on Thursday.

COMMODITIES AT 8:30 a.m. ET

Gold futures : $1,225.40; +0.43 pct

US crude : $52.55; +2.62 pct

Brent crude : $61.29; +3.39 pct

LME 3-month copper : $5,744.50; +0.08 pct

ANALYST RESEARCH HIGHLIGHTS

Great-West Lifeco : CIBC cuts rating to “sector underperformer”

Mullen Group Ltd : CIBC cuts rating to “sector underperformer” from “sector performer”

Yellow Pages Ltd : Canaccord Genuity cuts target price to C$28 from C$30

U.S. ECONOMIC DATA DUE ON FRIDAY

0830 Import prices mm: Actual -2.80 pct; Prior -2.50 pct

0830 Export prices mm: Actual -2.00 pct; Prior -1.20 pct

1000 U Mich Sentiment prelim: Expected +98.10; Prior +98.10

1000 U Mich Conditions prelim: Expected +110.0; Prior +109.30

1000 U Mich Expectations prelim: Expected +92.20; Prior +91.0

1000 U Mich 1-yr inflation prelim: Prior +2.50 pct

1000 U Mich 5-yr inflation prelim: Prior +2.80 pct

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$1.25) (Reporting by Nandi Kaul in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D‘Souza)

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