CANADA STOCKS-TSX may open higher; euro zone and Chinese data support
Aug 22 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index looked set to open higher on Thursday as investors shifted focus from the U.S. Federal Reserve's minutes to strong economic data from China and the euro zone, which painted signs of a global economic recovery.
* Evidence is growing that the world economy is on the mend. Business surveys on Thursday showed better-than-expected growth in the euro zone and a rebound in China's vast manufacturing sector.
* Hewlett-Packard Co shuffled its top ranks on Wednesday, shifting a star executive to a role identifying acquisition targets after a disappointing performance from the division he oversaw curtailed the No. 1 PC maker's 2014 outlook.
* PetroChina Co Ltd, China's dominant oil and gas producer which also owns refineries, posted a 29 percent rise in its second-quarter profit, beating analyst estimates.
* Abercrombie & Fitch Co said that quarterly comparable sales fell a worse-than-expected 10 percent, which the company blamed on fewer visits by shoppers to stores and customers' lack of interest in its women's clothing.
* Wells Fargo & Co, the largest mortgage lender in the United States, will cut 2,300 jobs in its home loan business because fewer customers are refinancing as interest rates rise, according to an internal memo reviewed by Reuters.
* Canada stock futures traded up 0.54 percent
* U.S. stock futures , , were up around 0.22 percent to 0.57 percent
* European shares, were up
COMMODITY PRICE MOVES
* Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB Index : 289.5207; rose 0.25 percent
* Gold futures : $1,368.8; fell 0.13 percent
* US crude : $103.94; rose 0.09 percent
* Brent crude : $109.77; fell 0.04 percent
* LME 3-month copper : $7,376; rose 1.88 percent
CANADIAN STOCKS TO WATCH
* Rogers Communications Inc : Canada is focused on boosting competition in the telecom sector and will examine any move by industry leader Rogers Communications back a private equity bid for two small wireless carriers, Industry Minister James Moore said on Wednesday.
Following is a summary of research actions on Canadian companies reported by Reuters.
* Atco Ltd : National Bank Financial resumes rating with sector perform on valuation.
* Bank of Montreal : KBW raises price target to C$63 from C$62, believes that the bank could report steady core profitability and an in-line quarter highlighted by strong growth and better net interest margin in the U.S.
* Bank of Nova Scotia : KBW raises price target to C$61 from C$60, says potential economic headwinds in the emerging markets in which it operates could results in slower growth and potentially higher credit costs as well.
* Canadian Utilities Ltd : National Bank Financial resumes with sector perform rating after the company reported adjusted EPS of C$1.20 with 14 percent growth year-over-year, driven by ongoing rate base growth within its utilities segment coupled with relatively strong realized Alberta power prices within the energy segment.
ON THE CALENDAR
* Major Canadian economic data includes retail sales
* Major U.S. events and data includes initial and continuing claims, lead indicators and Markit flash manufacturing PMI
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