CANADA STOCKS-TSX set to open higher, Greek worries persist

Thu May 17, 2012 8:56am EDT

May 17 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index looked set to open higher, recovering from a 2012 low hit on Wednesday, as a stronger gold price helped offset worries about contagion from Greece spreading to other euro zone countries.

TOP STORIES

* Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd Chief Executive Fred Green resigned, handing activist shareholder William Ackman a clear victory after a bruising proxy battle for control of Canada's second biggest railroad.

* New U.S. claims for unemployment benefits were unchanged last week, according to government data on Thursday that will do little to ease concerns about a recent slowdown in jobs growth.

* Spain's borrowing costs shot up at a bond auction on Thursday, after economic data confirmed the country is back in recession and reports that nationalized Bankia SA had suffered an outflow of deposits hammered its share price.

* Sears Holdings Corp said it plans to spin off a large part of its stake in its Canada unit, which has struggled with weak sales and dragged down overall performance.

* Research In Motion Ltd. : The blackberry-maker said the UK agency responsible for setting standards for computer security has approved the BlackBerry 7 operating system for government use.

MARKET SNAPSHOT

* Canada stock futures traded slightly higher.

* U.S. stock futures , , were down around 0.21-0.41 percent

* European shares, were down more than a percent

COMMODITY PRICE MOVES

* Thomson Reuters-Jeffries CRB Index : 289.6; rose 0.09 percent

* Gold Futures : $1,550.6; rose 0.94 percent

* US Crude : $92.95; rose 0.15 percent

* Brent Crude : $109.1; fell 0.59 percent

* LME 3-month Copper : $7,686; rose 0.47 percent

CANADIAN STOCKS TO WATCH

* Enbridge Inc. : The oil transporter kicked off one of the most sweeping expansions in its history on Wednesday, a C$3.2 billion series of projects across its pipeline system aimed at moving western Canada and North Dakota oil to Eastern refineries and eliminating costly bottlenecks in the U.S. Midwest.

* Royal Bank of Canada : The bank along with Credit Suisse are among suitors who have put in initial bids to buy the non-U.S. wealth management business of Bank of America in a deal that could be worth about $2 billion, sources said.

ANALYST RECOMMENDATIONS

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

* Allied Properties REIT : Canaccord ups target to C$28 from C$27 on strong Q1 results; rating hold

* Boardwalk REIT : Macquarie ups price target to C$65 from C$60 as it sees long-term gain from the REIT's unutilized land holdings;rating outperform

* Canadian National : Barclays ups target to C$88 from C$84; rating underweight

* Canadian Pacific Railway : Barclays raises to overweight from equal weight; ups price target to C$92 from C$80, as company has potential to nearly double current earnings

* Timmins Gold : Canaccord Genuity raises to hold from sell on valuation; cuts target price to C$1.60 from C$1.85

ON THE CALENDAR

* Major Canadian economic data includes wholesale trade and foreign investment

* Major U.S. events and data includes initial claims, Lead indicator and Phil Fed index

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