CANADA STOCKS-TSX may open higher on upbeat China growth data

Fri Jan 18, 2013 8:13am EST

Jan 18 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index looked set to open higher on Friday after better-than-expected Chinese GDP data eased concerns of a sharp slowdown in the world's second largest economy and lifted investor sentiment.

TOP STORIES

* Schlumberger Ltd's quarterly profit fell 3 percent as the world's largest oilfield services company's international customers held back spending even as North American gas-directed drilling activity remained lower.

* General Electric reported a better-than-expected 7.5 percent rise in profit, reflecting a campaign to boost margins as well as higher sales of equipment used in oil and gas production.

* China's economy grew at its slowest pace in 13 years in 2012, though a year-end spurt supported by infrastructure spending and a jump in trade signalled the foundation for the stable growth path Beijing says is vital for economic reform may be in sight.

* The premier of Saskatchewan joined 10 U.S. state governors in urging President Barack Obama to approve TransCanada Corp's contentious and long-delayed Keystone XL oil pipeline, citing energy-security benefits in both countries.

* Intel Corp forecast quarterly revenue that disappointed Wall Street and a sharp increase in capital spending it plans for 2013 unnerved investors already concerned about slow demand for personal computers.

* The U.S. economic recovery is entering the home strait, though unemployment is still very high and may only come down gradually, outgoing U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said.

MARKET SNAPSHOT

* Canada stock futures traded up 0.11 percent

* U.S. stock futures , , were mixed in the range of -0.28 percent to 0.06 percent

* European shares, were up

COMMODITY PRICE MOVES

* Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB Index : 300.8681; rose 0.02 percent

* Gold futures : $1,688.7; fell 0.1 percent

* US crude : $95.35; fell 0.15 percent

* Brent crude : $110.76; fell 0.31 percent

* LME 3-month copper : $8,078; rose 0.3 percent

CANADIAN STOCKS TO WATCH

* Bombardier Inc. : Australia's Qantas Airways Ltd has placed firm orders for three Q400 NextGen turboprop airplanes, the maker of the aircraft said on Thursday.

ANALYST RECOMMENDATIONS

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

* Intact Financial : National Bank Financial raises target price to C$76 from C$74, expects to report fourth-quarter earnings slightly above consensus

* Ivanplats Ltd : BMO raises target price to C$5.90 from C$5.00 after IVP reported an updated resource estimate for the Kamoa copper deposit in the DRC, confirming it as one of the largest undeveloped high-grade copper deposits in the world

* Transforce Inc : CIBC raises target price to C$26 from C$24.50 after it acquired Velocity express citing the acquisition will add to revenue and TFI would increase its footprint in the package and courier market

ON THE CALENDAR

* Major Canadian economic data includes manufacturing sales

* Major U.S. events and data includes Reuters/UMich, current conditions and expectations

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