CANADA STOCKS-TSX may open higher on global recovery hopes

March 21 Thu Mar 21, 2013 8:50am EDT

March 21 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index looked set to open slightly higher on Thursday after data showed a pick-up at Chinese factories and the U.S. Federal Reserve pledged to maintain its stimulus program, bolstering hopes for the global economy.

TOP STORIES

* The European Central Bank gave Cyprus until Monday to raise billions of euros to clinch an international bailout or face losing emergency funds for its banks and inevitable collapse.

* Growth in China's vast manufacturing sector picked up in March after a holiday dip, a preliminary survey of factory managers showed on Thursday, pointing towards solid but not spectacular first-quarter growth in the world's second-largest economy.

* The euro zone's economic downturn has deepened this month - even before Cyprus's bailout debacle - creating another headache for policymakers battling to revive the bloc's fortunes, a business survey showed.

* Yogawear retailer Lululemon Athletica Inc said it expected its earnings to fall in the current quarter, hurt by a recall of stretchy pants announced on Monday.

* AstraZeneca's new chief executive announced another 2,300 job cuts in sales and administration on Thursday as he set out his stall for turning round the struggling drugmaker and returning it to growth.

MARKET SNAPSHOT

* Canada stock futures traded up 0.08 percent

* U.S. stock futures , , were mixed in the range of 0.1 percent and -0.09

* European shares, were down

COMMODITY PRICE MOVES

* Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB Index : 295.3806; fell 0.02 percent

* Gold futures : $1,607.5; was unchanged 0 percent

* US crude : $93.22; fell 0.3 percent

* Brent crude : $108.2; fell 0.48 percent

* LME 3-month copper : $7,651; rose 0.41 percent

CANADIAN STOCKS TO WATCH

* Enbridge Inc : Enbridge Energy Partners LP, the U.S. unit of the pipeline operator, said on Wednesday the costs of additional cleanup from a huge Michigan oil spill three years ago may push the total bill past the limit of its insurance coverage, hampering its financial results.

ANALYSTS' RECOMMENDATIONS

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

* Franco-Nevada Corp : RBC cuts target price to C$60 from C$65 on future gold price outlook, expects 2013 revenue to be relatively flat

* Hemisphere GPS Inc : National Bank Financial cuts target price to C$0.80 from C$1.05 after the company missed fourth-quarter sales estimates, sees more headwinds for its sales and pricing power in the coming quarters

* Raging River Exploration Inc : CIBC raises price target to C$5 from C$4.50 after it reported better-than-expected fourth-quarter results and increased average production outlook

* Strongco : Canaccord Genuity cuts target price to C$7 from C$8 on valuation after the company reported lower-than-expected fourth-quarter results

* Taseko Mines Ltd : Raymond James resumes coverage with outperform rating and price target of C$3.70, sees the company benefiting from implementation of the Gibraltar Development Phase 3 expansion resulting in accelerated growth in cash flow

ON THE CALENDAR

* Major Canadian economic data includes retails sales

* Major U.S. events and data includes weekly jobless claims, monthly home sales and lead indicators

A couple walks along the rough surf during sunset at Oahu's North Shore, December 26, 2013. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

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