CANADA STOCKS-TSX may open higher, Spain in focus
Oct 3 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index looked set to open higher on Wednesday, extending gains from the previous session on hopes of a request from Spain for a bailout, though weak economic data from China and Europe might keep a lid on gains.
* Dwindling new orders and faster layoffs marked a worsening decline for euro zone companies last month, according to business surveys that dent hopes the economy will return to growth before 2013.
* China's normally robust services sector weakened sharply in September to its lowest point since November 2010, as slow growth in manufacturing finally began to feed through to the rest of the economy, an official survey showed.
* Cable and media company Quebecor Inc bought back 30.5 million shares of unit Quebecor Media Inc from Canadian pension fund Caisse de depot et placement du Quebec for C$1.5 billion.
* Spain's corporate tax take has tumbled by almost two thirds from pre-crisis levels as small businesses fail and a growing number of big corporations seek profits abroad to compensate for the prolonged downturn at home.
* Canada stock futures traded up 0.16 percent
* U.S. stock futures , , were up around 0.01 percent to 0.08 percent
* European shares, were down
COMMODITY PRICE MOVES
* Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB Index : 312.38; fell 0.38 percent
* Gold futures : $1,777.5; rose 0.27 percent
* US crude : $91.2; fell 0.75 percent
* Brent crude : $110.54; fell 0.92 percent
* LME 3-month copper : $8,281; fell 0.53 percent
CANADIAN STOCKS TO WATCH
* Imperial Oil Ltd. : The Canadian affiliate of Exxon Mobil Corp has drawn buyer interest for its Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, refinery, which it put on the auction block in May as it struggled with weak Atlantic crude oil basin margins, its CEO Bruce March said on Tuesday.
Following is a summary of research actions on Canadian companies reported by Reuters.
* B2Gold Corp. : Raymond James re-initiates coverage with an outperform rating, cites the merger with Philippine miner CGA Mining Ltd, the company's production growth and development potential and its exploration projects.
* HealthLease Properties REIT : Canaccord Genuity starts with buy rating, says increasing market awareness of the company's asset base presents a compelling upward revaluation opportunity.
* IGM Financial Inc. : Canaccord Genuity raises price target to C$40 from C$39, National Bank Financial raises price target to C$44 from C$43 to reflect positive assets under management trends in August and September.
* Paramount Resources Ltd. : Canaccord Genuity raises price target to C$35 from C$31, CIBC ups target to C$36.25 from C$29, on the company's stronger financial position after its $125 million flow-through equity financing.
* Peyto Exploration & Development Corp. : Canaccord Genuity raises target price to C$27 from C$23, cites the company's enhanced liquids recovery projects and associated yield uplift from future wells
ON THE CALENDAR
* No major Canadian economic data scheduled for release
* Major U.S. events and data includes ADP employment report and ISM non-manufacturing data
- Housing, jobs data weaken, but overall economic picture still upbeat
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