CANADA STOCKS-TSX set to open higher, helped by commodity price gains

March 7 Thu Mar 7, 2013 8:54am EST

March 7 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index looked set to open higher on Thursday, helped by a rise in the price of U.S. crude and other commodities.

TOP STORIES

* The Bank of England decided not to pump more money into Britain's ailing economy in what is likely to have been a close-run decision.

* The European Central Bank held its main interest rate at a record low of 0.75 percent.

* Canadian Natural Resources Ltd reported a 58 percent fall in fourth-quarter profit after booking a foreign exchange-related loss but the company raised its quarterly dividend.

* Rosneft, Russia's top crude producer, has signed long-term crude supply contracts with commodity traders Glencore International and Vitol for supply of up to 67.0 million tonnes of crude. The deal entails a $10 billion prepayment to Rosneft before supplies start.

* Dell Inc said shareholder Carl Icahn has urged the company to pursue a leveraged recapitalization and pay a $9 per share dividend instead of going private.

MARKET SNAPSHOT

* Canada stock futures traded down around 0.01 percent

* U.S. stock futures , , were up around 0.1 percent

* European shares, were up

COMMODITY PRICE MOVES

* Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB Index : 290.6188; rose 0.4 percent

* Gold futures : $1,582; rose 0.47 percent

* US crude : $90.8; rose 0.41 percent

* Brent crude : $110.62; fell 0.4 percent

* LME 3-month copper : $7,710.5; rose 0.27 percent

CANADIAN STOCKS TO WATCH

* Aurizon Mines Ltd : U.S. silver miner Hecla Mining Co said it was confident that its deal with the company would go through, a day after rival bidder Alamos Gold Inc said it was close to blocking Hecla's bid.

* Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd assumes Washington will approve the northern leg of the Keystone XL pipeline, and remains confident in the long-term viability of its crude-by-rail business, CEO Hunter Harrison said on Wednesday.

* TransCanada Corp : Separately, after the Keystone XL oil pipeline cleared an important hurdle last week, critics of the project are searching for ways to force more of the delays that have dogged it for more than four years already.

* Linamar Corp : The auto parts maker reported a 14 percent rise in fourth quarter earnings on Wednesday, helped by higher demand in the United States and Asia, although results were tempered by softer demand in Europe.

ANALYST RECOMMENDATIONS

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

* Dorel Industries Inc : CIBC raises price target to C$42 from C$40 on valuation following better-than-expected fourth-quarter results, says lower R&D expenses positively impacted results and operational expenses were well controlled.

* Linamar Corp : Canaccord Genuity raises target price to C$30 from C$29 following in-line fourth-quarter results, expects high single-digit sales growth and modest margin expansion going forward.

* Morneau Shepell Inc : CIBC raises price target to C$15 from C$14 on expectations of margin recovery and cross-selling opportunities post integration, says the company is well positioned with stable recurring revenue.

* Talisman Energy Inc : Canaccord Genuity raises target price to $16 from $14.50 after investor day, says the company has an attractive asset base and can be acquired by a foreign entity.

* Trilogy Energy Corp : CIBC raises price target to C$35 from C$34 on valuation after it posted higher-than-expected fourth-quarter results.

ON THE CALENDAR

* Major Canadian economic data includes building permits, trade deficit and January exports and imports.

* Major U.S. events and data includes international trade data for January, weekly jobless claims and productivity data .

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