CANADA STOCKS-TSX set to open higher on rising commodity prices

Nov 18 (BestGrowthStock) – Toronto’s resource-heavy main stock
index looked set to open higher on Thursday, buoyed by rising
commodity prices and hopes Ireland may soon see a solution to
debt problems which have hurt financial market sentiment.

FACTORS TO WATCH

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

* U.S. stock index futures held gains after the government
said new U.S. claims for unemployment benefits rose slightly
last week. [.N]

* European stocks rallied, turning positive on the week as
hopes of a solution to Ireland’s debt crisis and results from a
Spanish debt auction soothed investors’ fears over euro zone
sovereign debt. [.EU]

* Asian shares rebounded after an eight-day sell-off with
Japan’s Nikkei rising more than 2 percent to close above 10,000
for the first time since late June on falling yen.

COMMODITY PRICE MOVES

* The Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB index (.CRB: ), a global
commodities benchmark, rose 1.49 percent in early trade.

* Oil retraced part of a steep four-session drop as worries
about Ireland’s debt crisis eased and a sharp crude inventory
drawdown in top consumer the United States propped up prices.
[O/R]

* Gold rose more than 1 percent in Europe, recovering from
four sessions of losses, as a drop in the value of the dollar
versus the euro helped commodity prices to recoup some of this
week’s hefty losses. [GOL/]

* Copper climbed more than 2.5 percent, as a weak dollar
supported industrial metals after concerns over Euro zone
sovereign debt eased. [MET/L]

CANADIAN STOCKS TO WATCH

* Western Coal (WTN.TO: ): U.S. coal maker Walter Energy said
on Thursday it is in talks to buy the miner for $3.24 billion,
to create a steelmaking coal giant aimed at exploiting Asian
demand. [ID:nSGE6AH0BN]

* Consolidated Thompson Iron Mines Ltd. (CLM.TO: ): The miner
said on Thursday it appointed Brian Tobin as interim CEO of the
company, as Richard Quesnel, the former CEO, was stepping down
after having been found guilty of breaking share trading laws.
[ID:nSGE6AH0A8]

* Shaw Communications Inc. (SJRb.TO: ): The cable provider
said on Wednesday that Brad Shaw had become CEO, effective
immediately, speeding up a succession plan announced less than
a month ago. [ID:nN17284176]

* Heritage Oil (HOC.TO: ): British oil explorer said a key
well in the Kurdistan region of Iraq beat its target by
encountering hydrocarbons at deeper than expected depths.
[ID:nLDE6AG1QD]

* Maple Leaf Foods (MFI.TO: ): The leading food processor
said on Wednesday that it will close its pork plant in Berwick,
Nova Scotia, at the end of April and added closure costs,
including severance, decommissioning and asset writedowns to
total C$17 million before tax. [ID:nN17204148]

ANALYST RECOMMENDATIONS

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

* Precision Drilling (PD.TO: ) price target raised to C$10.25
from C$9.50; keeps sector perform rating at National Bank

($1= $1.02 Canadian)
(Reporting by Kishan Nair and Bangalore newsroom; editing by
Jeffrey Hodgson)

CANADA STOCKS-TSX set to open higher on rising commodity prices