CANADA STOCKS-TSX may open higher as German business morale rises

Fri Jan 25, 2013 8:25am EST

Jan 25 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index looked set to open higher on Friday, as better-than-expected data on German business morale and encouraging manufacturing surveys from the United States and China cheered investors.

TOP STORIES

* German business morale improved for a third consecutive month in January to its highest in more than half a year, more evidence that Europe's largest economy is gathering speed again after contracting late last year.

* Canadian inflation probably moved back into the Bank of Canada's target range in December, but only barely, with price pressures subdued, a Reuters survey of analysts showed.

* A senior Lenovo executive said on Thursday that the Chinese computer maker may consider Research in Motion as a takeover target, before it launches a make-or-break line of redesigned smartphones.

* Canada's finance minister expects to choose the country's next central bank governor in April and said on Friday he was looking worldwide for the right candidate, who must hold a Canadian passport.

* Halliburton reported a 35 percent decline in profit on a slowdown in U.S. land drilling caused by a glut of natural gas.

* Britain's economy shrank more than expected at the end of 2012 with a North Sea oil production slump, lower factory output and a hangover from London' Olympics pushing it perilously close to a "triple-dip" recession.

* Procter & Gamble posted higher quarterly profit, as the world's largest household products maker tries to reignite growth in sluggish markets such as the United States while activist investor William Ackman pushes for improvements.

MARKET SNAPSHOT

* Canada stock futures traded up 0.35 percent

* U.S. stock futures , , were up around 0.32 percent and 0.51 percent

* European shares, were up

COMMODITY PRICE MOVES

* Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB Index : 301.1757; rose 0.09 percent

* Gold futures : $1,663; fell 0.39 percent

* US crude : $96.31; rose 0.38 percent

* Brent crude : $113.75; rose 0.41 percent

* LME 3-month copper : $8,093; fell 0.03 percent

CANADIAN STOCKS TO WATCH

* Enbridge Inc. : The oil shipper has started to sketch out plans for moving Canadian crude oil to a U.S. refining market it has so far had little access to - the eastern Gulf Coast region of Louisiana and Mississippi, CEO Al Monaco said on Thursday.

* Open Text Corp. : The business software maker reported a 29 percent growth in quarterly profit on revenue from cloud-based services.

ANALYST RECOMMENDATIONS

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

* Genworth MI Canada Inc. : Canaccord Genuity raises target price to C$25.50 from C$23 based on the one-time $135 million benefit to shareholders' equity from the exit fee liability reversal.

* Major Drilling Group International Inc. : CIBC cuts price target to C$13 from C$14 after the company said fourth-quarter revenues are expected to be weaker than previously thought with start-up delays to 2013 exploration programs.

* Metro Inc. : Barclays raises price target to C$59 from C$56 citing the company's solid 2012 performance and valuation support from recent acquisition speculation.

* New Flyer Industries Inc. : CIBC raises price target to C$10 from C$8.75 to reflect the company's potential international growth opportunities as well as the increased likelihood that it has become a takeout target.

* Osisko Mining Corp. : Canaccord Genuity cuts target price to C$9 from C$9.50 after the company reported fourth-quarter operational results with no embedded surprise.

ON THE CALENDAR

* Major Canadian economic data includes consumer price inflation

* Major U.S. events and data includes new home sales