Canada's main stock index looked set to open higher on Wednesday after reports that International Monetary Fund could boost its European lending facility by $1 trillion to help ease the euro zone debt crisis.
Still, uncertainties about Greek debt talks and threat from Fitch to cut Italy's credit rating could limit any optimism in Canada's equities market.
FACTORS TO WATCH
* Canadian equity futures pointed to a higher open.
* Bank of Canada releases its Monetary Policy Report, a day after the central bank held its benchmark interest rate steady at 1 percent and forecast a faster Canadian recovery than previously expected.
* U.S. stock index futures rose, putting the S&P 500 on track for a second straight advance, after sources said the International Monetary Fund wants to boost its lending facility as the euro zone battles a long-running debt crisis. .N
* European shares turned briefly positive, with traders citing media reports the IMF may boost its European lending facility, helping the euro region as it battles its way through a long-running debt crisis. .EU
COMMODITY PRICE MOVES
* The Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB index .CRB, a global commodities benchmark, rose 0.35 percent in early trade.
* Oil gained as demand-sensitive assets got a boost from talk the IMF may do more to help resolve the European debt crisis, helping to temper worry about the outcome of crucial Greek debt restructuring.
* Gold rose as the euro hit a session high versus the dollar on reports that the IMF is planning to boost its lending resources, but weakness in stock markets ahead of fresh talks on Greek debt capped the metal's gains below $1,660 an ounce.
* Copper prices fell from a 2-1/2 month high in the previous day on investor caution about the debt crisis in Europe ahead of Greek debt restructuring talks and a bond auction by Portugal.
CANADIAN STOCKS TO WATCH
* Research In Motion (RIM.TO: Quote): The Blackberry maker is not on Samsung Electronics Co's immediate shopping list, but the company may still be attractive to Asian smartphone makers looking to compete against Google's Android, the world's fastest growing mobile platform.
* Brookfield Asset Management Inc (BAMa.TO: Quote): The company ended its agreement with Kerzner International Ltd to swap debt for equity on three Kerzner properties, Brookfield said on Tuesday, after a court halted its takeover of the huge Atlantis resort in the Bahamas.
* Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. (CP.TO: Quote): The company said on Tuesday it will invest between C$1.1 billion and C$1.2 billion in its business operations this year.
* Centerra Gold Inc. (CG.TO: Quote): The company said it could not predict when it would start production at its Gatsuurt project in Mongolia due to continued delays in receiving permits and approvals.
* Catalyst Paper Corp. (CTL.TO: Quote): The specialty paper and newsprint producer filed a Chapter 15 proceeding in a U.S. bankruptcy court in Delaware, court papers showed.
Following is a summary of research actions on Canadian companies reported by Reuters.
* Canadian Natural ResourcesCNQ.TO price target raised to C$52 from C$48 at Canaccord Genuity
* Cenovus Energy Inc (CVE.TO: Quote) price target raised to C$45 from C$42 at Canaccord Genuity
* Nexen Inc (NXY.TO: Quote) price target raised to C$22 from C$20 at Canaccord Genuity
* Suncor Energy Inc (SU.TO: Quote) price target raised to C$45 from C$43 at Canaccord Genuity
* Total Energy Services TOT.TO price target raised to C$18 from C$17 at RBC
($1= $1.01 Canadian)