CANADA STOCKS-TSX may open higher, helped by rising gold price

March 24 (Reuters) – Toronto’s main stock index looked set
to open slightly higher on Thursday, with gold miners likely to
benefit as bullion prices rose on jitters over Europe’s
sovereign debt woes and violence in the Middle East

FACTORS TO WATCH

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

* U.S. stock index futures rose as investors shifted focus
to jobs data later in the morning, temporarily brushing off
euro zone debt concerns. [.N]

* European shares edged higher in early trade, lifted by
gains in retailers after upbeat results in the sector, though
low volumes showed investors stayed on the sidelines as caution
over the euro zone debt crisis lingered. [.EU]

* Asian stocks rose, while Nikkei and Shanghai Composite
closed in red on radiation leak fears and profit taking

COMMODITY PRICE MOVES

* The Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB index (.CRB: Quote, Profile, Research), a global
commodities benchmark, rose 0.07 percent in early trade.

* Brent crude see-sawed on Thursday, as concerns about
instability in the Middle East were offset by worries about the
economic health of the euro zone following the resignation of
Portugal’s prime minister. [O/R]

* Gold and silver prices rose as jitters over the euro zone
sovereign debt crisis, violence in the Middle East and worries
over radiation leaks in Japan conspired to blunt risk appetite.
[GOL/]

* Copper prices rose to their highest in almost three
weeks, weathering dismal U.S. housing data and taking strength
from improving demand in other sectors, including
transportation. [MET/L]

CANADIAN STOCKS TO WATCH

* Bombardier Inc. (BBDb.TO: Quote, Profile, Research). The world’s third-largest
commercial aircraft maker signed an agreement to work on
commercial planes with the Commercial Aircraft Corporation of
China Ltd. [ID:nL3E7EO1II]

* Yamana Gold Inc (YRI.TO: Quote, Profile, Research): The company said it increased
its stake in Aura Minerals Inc by four-fifths to 18.7 percent
by buying about 19 million shares of the mineral exploration
company. [ID:nL3E7EN3N5]

* Sprott Inc. (SII.TO: Quote, Profile, Research): The fund manager’s fourth-quarter
profit rose seven-fold, helped by the launch of new funds and
its exposure to gold and silver. [ID:nL3E7EO1F3].

* Alamos Gold Inc. (AGI.TO: Quote, Profile, Research): The company said its measured
and indicated gold resources rose by more than a third in 2010.
[ID:nL3E7EO1K1]

* Imax Corp. (IMX.TO: Quote, Profile, Research): The company, which operates a chain
of big-screen movie theatres, said it has signed a 75-theatre
joint revenue-sharing deal with China’s Wanda Cinema Line Corp,
marking the firm’s largest international deal. [ID:nL3E7EO0CR]

* Torex Gold Resources Inc. (TXG.TO: Quote, Profile, Research): The gold miner said
it has temporarily suspended drilling at its Morelos gold
project in Mexico to beef up security at the site.
[ID:nL3E7EO1GG]

* Emerge Oil & Gas Inc. (EME.TO: Quote, Profile, Research): The company’s
fourth-quarter sales volumes beat its own estimates, but the
exploration company posted a wider loss, weighed down by lower
realized oil prices and higher operating expenses.
[ID:nL3E7EN3RF]

* Cequence Energy Ltd. (CQE.TO: Quote, Profile, Research): The oil and gas explorer
raised its annual production outlook 7 percent and nearly
doubled its capital expenditure view after a successful winter
drilling program at Wilrich and Montney plays in Simonette,
Alberta. [ID:nL3E7EN3P1]

* Greystar (GSL.TO: Quote, Profile, Research): Colombia’s energy minister said on
Wednesday that an underground mine for the company’s Angostura
gold and silver project was not viable if it compromised paramo
or sub-paramo environment systems. [ID:nN23284269]

* Azure Dynamics Corp. (AZD.TO: Quote, Profile, Research): The company, which makes
hybrid electric components for commercial vehicles, posted a
slightly wider quarterly loss, missing analysts’ estimates, on
higher expenses, but forecast higher 2011 revenue.
[ID:nL3E7EN3JS]

* Crocotta Energy Inc (CTA.TO: Quote, Profile, Research): The oil and natural gas
company posted a narrower-than-expected fourth-quarter loss,
helped mainly by lower operating and interest expenses.
[ID:nL3E7EO1QE]

* MKS Inc (MKX.TO: Quote, Profile, Research): The software and services provider
forecast fourth-quarter revenue above analysts’ expectations,
citing higher license transactions. [ID:nL3E7EN3PK]

ANALYST RECOMMENDATIONS

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

* Azure Dynamics (AZD.TO: Quote, Profile, Research) price target cut to C$0.40 from
C$0.45; rating outperform at National Bank

($1= $0.97 Canadian)
(Reporting by Kishan Nair; editing by Jeffrey Hodgson)

CANADA STOCKS-TSX may open higher, helped by rising gold price