CANADA STOCKS-TSX may open higher; focus on U.S. budget impasse

Fri Oct 4, 2013 8:33am EDT

Oct 4 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index looked set to edge higher on Friday after hitting a near three-week low the previous session, helped by hopes the U.S. government will eventually break a budget impasse even as a partial shutdown entered its fourth day.

TOP STORIES

* The shutdown of the U.S. government appeared likely to drag on for another week and possibly longer as lawmakers consumed day three of the shutdown with a stalling game and there was no end in sight until the next crisis hits Washington around Oct. 17.

* A prolonged U.S. budget standoff would hit global markets very hard, the Bank of Japan warned as it said it was ready to top up its existing massive stimulus if the recovery underway in the world's third-largest economy was threatened.

* Samsung Electronics Co Ltd is on track to post its second consecutive year of record earnings as a rebound in its semiconductor business shields the South Korean tech giant from a slower smartphone market.

* Taiwan's HTC Corp slid into the red for the first time in the third quarter, adding to the case for the troubled smartphone maker to abandon its prized independence and reach out for a white knight soon.

MARKET SNAPSHOT

* Canada stock futures traded up 0.08 percent

* U.S. stock futures , , were up around 0.04 percent and 0.17 percent

* European shares, were up

COMMODITY PRICE MOVES

* Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB Index : 286.3335; rose 0.08 percent

* Gold futures : $1,309.4; fell 0.61 percent

* US crude : $103.66; rose 0.34 percent

* Brent crude : $109.34; rose 0.31 percent

* LME 3-month copper : $,7192; rose 0.1 percent

CANADIAN STOCKS TO WATCH

* Bear Creek Mining Corp : Peru's government has restarted talks with the company over its stalled Santa Ana silver project and hopes work on the mine can resume, the mines minister said on Thursday.

ANALYSTS' RECOMMENDATIONS

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

* Air Canada : BMO raises target price to C$5 from C$4 and National Bank Financial ups target to C$4.75 from C$3.75 after the company reported a strong third-quarter load factor on traffic and capacity growth.

* Calfrac Well Services : Raymond James raises target price to C$35.50 from C$35 after the company won a 3-year pumping contract in Argentina.

* SNC-Lavalin Group Inc : National Bank Financial raises target to C$45.50 from C$43.50 after the company finally announced a potential sale of an interest in AltaLink.

ON THE CALENDAR

* No major Canadian economic data scheduled for release

* Major U.S. events and data includes payrolls figures

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