CANADA STOCKS-TSX may open higher, but focus on U.S. budget talks

Fri Nov 30, 2012 9:03am EST

Nov 30 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index looked set to edge higher at the open on Friday, tracking global markets, but a lack of progress in U.S. budget talks to avert a fiscal crisis looked likely to cap gains.

TOP STORIES

* German lawmakers approved the latest bailout for Greece on Friday by a large majority despite growing unease about the cost to taxpayers less than a year before federal elections.

* House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner said on Thursday that "fiscal cliff" talks with the White House had made no substantive progress and criticized President Barack Obama and Democrats for failing to get serious about including spending cuts in a final deal.

* The euro zone's crisis is far from over and its members must consolidate their budgets and forge a banking union to put the bloc on a more stable economic footing, the leaders of the IMF and European Central Bank said on Friday.

* The French government and steelmaker ArcelorMittal are aiming to clinch a deal to save jobs and avoid a temporary nationalization of its Florange steel works, government sources said on Friday as a midnight deadline neared.

* Barclays could axe as many as 3,500 investment bank staff and cut its advisory or equities operations in Asia as part of a broader strategic review aimed at fixing the bank's culture in the wake of the financial crisis.

MARKET SNAPSHOT

* Canada stock futures traded up 0.09 percent

* U.S. stock futures , , were up around 0.10 percent

* European shares, were up

COMMODITY PRICE MOVES

* Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB Index : 299.14; was down 0.24 percent

* Gold futures : $1,730.7; rose 0.2 percent

* US crude : $87.92; fell 0.17 percent

* Brent crude : $110.69; fell 0.06 percent

* LME 3-month copper : $7,950; rose 0.64 percent S

CANADIAN STOCKS TO WATCH

* Richmont Mines Inc. : The company said it will shut down its Francoeur gold mine in Quebec from Friday as high costs and lower grades of ore makes the project unfeasible.

* Canadian Oil Sands Ltd. : The company said it plans to invest about C$1.3 billion in the Syncrude joint venture next year to mainly revamp mining infrastructure, which will help produce stable volumes of light crude oil in the long term.

ANALYST RECOMMENDATIONS

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

* Gildan Activewear Inc. : Canaccord Genuity raises price target to $41 from $36 after the company provided a strong full-year outlook.

* Royal Bank of Canada : Canaccord Genuity raises target price to C$65 from C$63 citing the company's stock which is trading at a premium to the group and stability in capital markets.

ON THE CALENDAR

* Major Canadian economic data includes growth data

* Major U.S. events and data includes personal income and consumption, core PCE price and Chicago PMI

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