CANADA STOCKS-TSX may open higher on rising commodities

Dec 20 (BestGrowthStock) – Toronto’s main stock index may open
higher on Monday, buoyed by rising commodity prices, though
concerns over the euro zone debt crisis could dampen
sentiment.

FACTORS TO WATCH

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

* U.S. stock index futures rose as Wall Street looked to
extend three weeks of gains at the start of a holiday-shortened
week that is expected to bring thin trading. [.N]

* European stocks extended their gains, with a key index
hitting a two-year high, led by mining stocks on the back of
buoyant metal prices. [.EU]

* Asian stocks were mostly lower except India’s Sensex,
which rose as software majors soared to a record high on
optimistic outlook for the sector.

COMMODITY PRICE MOVES

* The Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB index (.CRB: ), a global
commodities benchmark, rose 0.69 percent in early trade.

* Oil prices rose as forecasts for continued freezing
temperatures in Europe and the U.S. Northeast this week looked
set to boost heating fuel demand. [O/R]

* Gold rose for a second day, overcoming the weakness in
the euro after a warning from the European Central Bank on the
region’s finances encouraged light safe-haven flows into the
metal. [GOL/]

* Copper rose, tracking a rally in Shanghai prices as
market tightness supported sentiment and investors counted on
strong Chinese demand, but gains were capped by worries about
debt problems in the euro zone. [MET/L]

CANADIAN STOCKS TO WATCH

* Talisman Energy (TLM.TO: ): South African energy group
Sasol said on Monday it would pay $1.05 billion for a 50
percent stake in the independent oil producer’s Farrell Creek
shale gas assets. [ID:nLDE6BJ04G]

* Gran Tierra Energy (GTE.TO: ): The oil and gas exploration
company said on Monday it has set a capital spending program of
$299.2 million for exploration and development in Colombia,
Peru, Argentina and Brazil. [ID:nSGE6BJ089]

* Potash One (KCL.TO: ): German fertilizer producer K+S is
confident it will be successful in its planned takeover of
Potash One, the K+S CEO Norbert Steiner told a German paper.
[ID:nLDE6BI05C]

* TransAlta Corp. (TA.TO: ): The Alberta grid operator
expects TransAlta and Capital Power’s (CPX) 450-megawatt Unit 3
at the Keephills coal-fired plant in Alberta to enter service
in February. TransAlta and Capital Power are equal partners in
the C$1.6 billion project, with Capital Power responsible for
construction. [ID:nN17144012]

* Baffinland Iron Mines (BIM.TO: ): Nunavut Iron Ore said on
Sunday it would ask regulators for an urgent hearing to block a
new shareholder rights plan announced by its hostile takeover
target Baffinland. [ID:nN19174632]

* Biox Corp. (BX.TO: ): The biodiesel producer said on Friday
it could add about C$3.5 million to revenue on products sold in
the third and fourth quarters, as a result of the reinstatement
of the biodiesel tax incentive. [ID:nSGE6BG085]

ANALYST RECOMMENDATIONS

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

* Bank of Montreal (BMO.TO: ) price target cut to C$64 from
C$66; rating hold at TD Newcrest;

* Black Diamond Group Ltd (BDI.TO: ) target price raised to
C$24.50 from C$22 at Raymond James;

* Consolidated Thompson Iron Mines Ltd (CLM.TO: ) price
target raised to C$16 from C$14.50; rating buy at TD Newcrest;

* Patheon (PTI.TO: ) price target cut to C$4 from C$4.50;
rating outperform at RBC;

* Uranium One Inc (UUU.TO: ) rating upgraded to outperform
from market perform at Raymond James.

($1= $1.01 Canadian)

(Reporting by Kishan Nair and Bangalore Newsroom)

CANADA STOCKS-TSX may open higher on rising commodities