CANADA STOCKS-TSX may open higher; corporate earnings in focus

Wed Feb 13, 2013 8:38am EST

Feb 13 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index looked set to open higher on Wednesday, helped by stronger commodity prices, with investors focused on the release of quarterly results from some of the market's biggest companies.

TOP STORIES

* Jack Lew, President Barack Obama's nominee to lead the U.S. Treasury Department, faces a grilling about a big bonus he received from Citigroup and his plans for the government's finances when he testifies before a Senate panel.

* Talisman Energy Inc reported a quarterly profit on gains from asset sales and said it was looking at disposing off some natural gas reserves in North America due to weak gas prices.

* Thomson Reuters reported a 2 percent rise in quarterly operating profit, largely due to cost cutting, and forecast higher revenue in 2013 as its division that serves financial institutions begins to turn around.

* Coeur d'Alene Mines Corp proposed to buy Canada's Orko Silver Corp for about C$384 million, nearly two months after Orko agreed to be sold to First Majestic Silver Corp .

* Duke Energy's net income rises in fourth quarter Duke Energy Corp, the largest power company in the United States, reported higher net income on Wednesday in its second quarterly report since its merger with Progress Energy.

MARKET SNAPSHOT

* Canada stock futures traded slightly higher

* U.S. stock futures , , were up around 0.20 percent

* European shares, were up

COMMODITY PRICE MOVES

* Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB Index : 301.3783; rose 0.09 percent

* Gold futures : $1,646.4; fell 0.14 percent

* US crude : $97.83; rose 0.33 percent

* Brent crude : $118.59; fell 0.06 percent

* LME 3-month copper : $8,256.5; rose 0.25 percent

CANADIAN STOCKS TO WATCH

* Barrick Gold : African Barrick Gold, a subsidiary of Barrick Gold, said it would focus on improving returns by cutting costs this year, after earnings tumbled by 39 percent in 2012.

* Sterling Resources : Top oil trading house Vitol plans to offer C$192 million for Canadian oil and gas group Sterling Resources, to gain a foothold in the North Sea oil and gas sector.

* TransCanada Corp : The company's plan to ship Alberta oil to Eastern Canada through a converted natural gas pipeline is quickly gaining traction, executives said on Tuesday, as its wait for a U.S. decision on its long-delayed Keystone XL project drags on.

ANALYST RECOMMENDATIONS

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

* Enbridge Income Fund Holdings Inc : Canaccord Genuity cuts to sell from hold, says the company's shares have appreciated 8 percent since its acquisition announcement in October 2012.

* Tourmaline Oil Corp : CIBC raises target price to C$46 from C$41 on the company's long-term growth visibility, strong balance sheet and strong per-share production growth in 2013.

* Computer Modelling Group Ltd : National Bank Financial raises target price to C$21 from C$19.50 on valuation after increasing 2015 estimates.

* Stantec Inc : National Bank Financial starts with sector perform and price target of C$43 citing its healthy fundamentals, acquisition and cross-selling upside and its operating and financial performance.

ON THE CALENDAR

* No major Canadian economic data scheduled for release

* Major U.S. events and data includes retail sales and business inventories

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