CANADA STOCKS-TSX may open higher as commodity prices rise

Aug 27 (BestGrowthStock) – Toronto’s main stock index looked set to
open higher on Friday, boosted by a rise in commodity prices
and U.S. economic growth data that came in better than
expectations.

FACTORS TO WATCH

* Canadian equity futures (0#SXF:: ) pointed to a higher
open.

* U.S. stock index futures extended gains on Friday after
data showed U.S. gross domestic product for the second quarter
was revised lower, but the figure was better than anticipated.
[.N]

* U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke delivers a
speech that is expected to shed light on whether the Fed will
support the economy with fresh injections of cash.
[ID:nN27251934]

* European stocks were flat, with telecoms and utilities
among the gainers.

* Asian stocks pared declines but still rounded off a week
of losses.

COMMODITY PRICE MOVES

* The Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB index (.CRB: ), a global
commodities benchmark, rose 0.41 percent in early trade.

* U.S. crude futures turned positive after the government
reported the economy grew at a 1.6 percent annual rate in the
second quarter, better than the consensus forecast, but revised
lower from its previous estimate of growth at a 2.4 percent
pace. [O/R]

* Gold held steady near $1,235 an ounce in Europe on Friday
as buyers took to the sidelines ahead of key U.S. economic data
due later in the session and a hotly awaited speech from
Federal Reserve chair Ben Benanke. [GOL/]

* Copper hit a one-week high on Friday but was expected to
come under pressure as nervous investors sell ahead of U.S.
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke’s speech on the economic
outlook. [MET/L]

* Canada’s dollar was softer against the U.S. currency on
Friday morning, while bonds were lower across the curve, as
investors awaited an update on the U.S. economic outlook from
U.S. Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke. [CAD/]

CANADIAN STOCKS TO WATCH

* Potash Corp (POT.TO: ) (POT.N: ): BHP Billiton’s chief
executive flies to North America this week to mount a charm
offensive to woo Potash Corp shareholders, as a potential
Chinese rival bidder reiterated it was closely watching BHP’s
$39 billion offer. [ID:nN26228720]

* Research In Motion (RIM.TO: ) (RIMM.O: ): India insisted on
Friday it would block some BlackBerry services next week if the
smartphone maker did not address security concerns, and
government officials said they were hopeful for a solution
soon. [ID:nSGE67Q08R]

* Manulife Financial Corp (MFC.TO: ): The Canadian insurer
and Switzerland’s Ace Ltd (ACE.N: ) are among bidders for New
York Life Insurance Co’s Hong Kong, Taiwan and South Korean
assets, sources said, in a deal valued between $800 million and
$1 billion. [ID:nTOE67Q021]

* Mosaid Technologies Inc (MSD.TO: ) reported lower
first-quarter profit (Read more your timing to make a profit.), hurt mainly by higher patent licensing
and litigation expenses, and said it was on track to meet its
FY11 targets as the intellectual property firm continues to see
rising demand for its technologies. [ID:nSGE67P0MA]

* Arise Technologies Corp (APV.TO: ): The company said its
shipment of Photovoltaic cells doubled sequentially in the
first seven weeks of the quarter, as the solar cell market
continued to improve. [ID:nSGE67P0M7]

ANALYST RECOMMENDATIONS

Following is a summary of research actions on Canadian
companies reported by Reuters. [RCH/CA]

* Allied Properties Reit (AP_u.TO: ) target price raised to
C$20.50 from C$20; rating market perform at Raymond James

* National Bank of Canada (NA.TO: ) price cut to C$67 from
C$68; rating neutral at Macquarie

* Platinum Group Metals (PTM.TO: ) rating raised to strong
buy from outperform at Raymond James

* RBC (RY.TO: ) target price cut by C$2 to C$58; rating
outperform at KBW. Target price cut to C$56 from C$60; rating
neutral at Macquarie

($1=$1.06 Canadian Dollar)
(Reporting by Bangalore newsroom, editing by Bhaswati
Mukhopadhyay and Jeffrey Hodgson)

CANADA STOCKS-TSX may open higher as commodity prices rise