CANADA STOCKS-TSX may open higher as ECB cuts interest rates

Thu May 2, 2013 8:26am EDT

May 2 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index is set to open higher after the European Central Bank cut interest rates by 25 basis points as inflation in the euro zone fell below its target.

TOP STORIES

* The European Central Bank cut interest rates for the first time in 10 months driven to act by an economy wallowing in recession and freed to do so by sharply falling inflation.

* Manufacturing across the world stumbled last month, underlining the fragility of the global economy and building the case for more action from leading central banks.

* Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc reported a 12 percent rise in adjusted quarterly profit due to higher product sales and raised its full-year adjusted profit forecast.

* Manulife Financial Corp reported a lower first-quarter profit on weak insurance sales and higher expenses.

* Gildan Activewear Inc reported a higher second-quarter profit, helped by lower cotton prices and higher sales across its printwear and branded businesses.

* Catamaran Corp reported a higher-than-expected first-quarter profit, helped by the $4.4 billion acquisition of rival Catalyst Health Solutions.

MARKET SNAPSHOT

* Canada stock futures traded up 0.27 percent

* U.S. stock futures , , were up 0.40 percent to 0.45 percent

* European shares, were up

COMMODITY PRICE MOVES

* Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB Index : 284.9369; rose 0.41 percent

* Gold futures : $1,456; rose 0.67 percent

* US crude : $91.6; rose 0.63 percent

* Brent crude : $100.87; rose 0.92 percent

* LME 3-month copper : $6,917; rose 1.8 percent

CANADIAN STOCKS TO WATCH

* BlackBerry : The Pentagon is expected to clear Apple, Samsung and BlackBerry mobile devices for use on Defense Department networks in the next few weeks, part of an effort to ensure the military has access to the latest communications technology, a spokesman said on Wednesday.

ANALYSTS' RECOMMENDATIONS

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

* Genworth MI Canada : Canaccord Genuity raises target price to C$27.50 from C$26.50 following strong first-quarter results and plans of a share buyback, believes the stock is supported by delinquency trends, strong capitalization and attractive dividend yield.

* Loblaw Companies : National Bank Financial raises to outperform from sector perform following the company's first-quarter results citing good sales trends in the core retail business and expectation of future improvement.

* Vicwest Inc : National Bank Financial cuts target to C$13.50 from C$14.50 citing reduced EBITDA estimates, expects H1 to be more challenged than previously assumed with Westeel issues escalating due to weather.

* Yamana Gold Inc : CIBC cuts price target to $19 from $25 on first-quarter operating challenges and impacts from newly implemented cost reduction program, says shares trade at a slight premium.

ON THE CALENDAR

* Major Canadian economic data includes exports, imports and trade balance

* Major U.S. events and data includes international trade, initial and continuing claims, productivity and unit labor costs