CANADA STOCKS-TSX may rise at open on commodity price gain, M&A

April 4 (Reuters) – Toronto’s resource-heavy main stock
index looked set to open higher on Monday, extending gains from
the previous session, helped by higher commodity prices and the
impact of recent takeover bids on investor sentiment.

Toronto-listed shares of Equinox Minerals (EQN.TO: Quote, Profile, Research) were set
to jump after Minmetals Resources (1208.HK: Quote, Profile, Research), China’s biggest
metals trading firm, offered $6.5 billion to buy the company.
[ID:nL3E7F30DI]

New Gold (NGD.TO: Quote, Profile, Research), an intermediate gold producer with mines
in Mexico, Australia and the United States, also said on Monday
it agreed to acquire Richfield Ventures (RVC.V: Quote, Profile, Research) in an all stock
deal valued at C$550 million ($573 million)

FACTORS TO WATCH

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

* U.S. stock index futures edged higher on Monday, with the
S&P 500 facing a level where selling has clustered in recent
sessions. [.N]

* European shares edged up to a three-week high, with
telecoms heavyweight Vodafone rising after a major disposal,
though strategists said an expected euro zone interest rate
rise could cap further gains in the months ahead. [.EU]

* Asian shares climbed to their highest in nearly 3 years
but the Nikkei struggled to extend gains as uncertainty over
Japan’s economic outlook and a prolonged nuclear safety crisis
curbed enthusiasm.

COMMODITY PRICE MOVES

* The Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB index (.CRB: Quote, Profile, Research), a global
commodities benchmark, rose 0.49 percent to 361.30 in early
trade. The index is still eyeing 366.71 this week, as its
uptrend has resumed towards the March 7 high. The index has
almost fully recovered the correction, signaling it may be
successful in its second attempt to break the resistance.

* Brent crude rose towards $120 a barrel and U.S. crude hit
a 2-1/2-year high above $108 as unrest in the Middle East and
North Africa kept the focus on oil supplies as economic growth
bolstered demand for fuel. [O/R]

* Gold rose back above $1,430 an ounce in Europe as oil
prices climbed and the dollar eased, and as traders anticipate
a rate hike from the European Central Bank may lead to further
weakness in the U.S. unit. [GOL/]

* Copper rose as recent jobs data from the United States
boosted prospects for metals demand growth and risk appetite
but concerns over slowing consumption in Japan capped gains.
[MET/L]

CANADIAN STOCKS TO WATCH

* Teck Resources Limited (TCKb.TO: Quote, Profile, Research): The company and union
negotiators have reached a tentative agreement to end a
two-month strike at the company’s Elkview metallurgical coal
mine in western Canada. [ID:nN03118747]

* Petrominerales Ltd. (PMG.TO: Quote, Profile, Research): Latin America-focussed oil
producer’s first-quarter production rose 6 percent, mainly on
additions from its Yatay and Mantis wells in Colombia.
[ID:nL3E7F41GO]

ANALYST RECOMMENDATIONS

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

* Allied Properties REIT (AP_u.TO: Quote, Profile, Research) rating raised to
outperform from sector perform at National Bank

* Carmanah Technologies Corp (CMH.TO: Quote, Profile, Research) price target cut to
C$1 from C$1.10; rating buy at Canaccord Genuity

* Etrion SA (ETX.TO: Quote, Profile, Research) coverage started with outperform
rating; price target of C$1.20 at National Bank

* Richfield Ventures Corp (RVC.V: Quote, Profile, Research) coverage started with
speculative buy rating; price target of C$12 at Paradigm

($1= $0.96 Canadian)
(Writing by Kishan Nair; editing by Jeffrey Hodgson)

CANADA STOCKS-TSX may rise at open on commodity price gain, M&A