CANADA STOCKS-TSX may open higher on China factory data

Mon Dec 3, 2012 8:57am EST

Dec 3 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index looked set to open higher on Monday, mirroring Wall Street gains as China's stronger-than-expected manufacturing data inspired optimism, though U.S. "fiscal cliff" concerns might put a lid on the gains.

TOP STORIES

* China's economy picked up in November but a broader global recovery remains fragile and patchy, a clutch of factory surveys suggested, with activity elsewhere in Asia remaining subdued amid depressed demand from the developed world.

* Greece said it would spend 10 billion euros ($13.01 billion) to buy back bonds in a bid to reduce its ballooning debt and unfreeze long-delayed aid, setting a price range above market expectations to ensure sufficient investor interest.

* The contraction in activity at the euro zone's embattled manufacturers eased to an eight-month low in November, although a meaningful recovery still looks a long way off, a survey showed.

* Brazil's Vale SA, the world's second largest mining company, will slash capital expenditures by 24 percent next year, after a drop in iron ore prices led the company to rethink its outlook for expansion.

* European Central Bank governing council member Christian Noyer said that he saw no reason currently to worry that a sharp increase in money pumped into markets by major central banks was inflationary, warning that global economic growth remained sluggish and fragile.

MARKET SNAPSHOT

* Canada stock futures traded up 0.13 percent

* U.S. stock futures , , were up around 0.4 percent to 0.65 percent

* European shares, were up

COMMODITY PRICE MOVES

* Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB Index : 301.02; rose 0.54 percent

* Gold futures : $1,720; rose 0.53 percent

* US crude : $89.43; rose 0.58 percent

* Brent crude : $111.8; rose 0.51 percent

* LME 3-month copper : $8,021; rose 0.33 percent

CANADIAN STOCKS TO WATCH

* Great-West Lifeco : Ireland has re-opened talks on the sale of state-owned insurance firm Irish Life, formerly the life insurance arm of bailed out Irish Life & Permanent, to Canada Life, a unit of the life insurer, the Sunday Business Post reported.

ANALYST RECOMMENDATIONS

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

* Agrium Inc : Piper Jaffray raises to overweight from neutral, raises price target to $122 from $110, says the prospect of operational improvements within the company's input distribution business have the potential to drive sustainable earnings growth through FY14

* Copper Mountain Mining Corp : National Bank Financial cuts target price to C$4.40 from C$4.70 citing the potential for lower grades and elevated stripping rates into 2013

* Research In Motion Ltd : Canaccord Genuity cuts to sell from hold, does not expect the new BlackBerry 10 to turn the company's long-term business trends around

* Richmont Mines Inc : CIBC cuts target price to C$5 from C$6 after the company said it would close its Francoeur mine and suspensed exploration and development activities at its Masamac project

* Stella-Jones Inc : National Bank Financial raises target price to C$87 from C$76 after the company completed its acquisition of McFarland Cascade and the expected synergies from the deal

ON THE CALENDAR

* Major Canadian economic data includes RBC Manufacturing PMI

* Major U.S. events and data includes construction spending, ISM and auto sales

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