Feb 3 (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index pointed to a lower open on Monday as strains in emerging markets show little sign of abating and data showed China’s economy is losing momentum. TOP STORIES
* Euro zone factories enjoyed their strongest month since mid-2011 in January as new orders flooded in, prompting them to take on new staff for the first time in two years, business surveys showed.
* Asian manufacturing outside China showed signs of solid expansion in January as order books swelled, but factories in the region’s giant struggled for growth, heightening concerns about an economic slowdown.
* Artificial knee and hip maker Smith & Nephew said it had agreed to buy medical devices company ArthroCare Corp for $1.7 billion in cash to strengthen its sports medicine business.
* Julius Baer has suffered a double blow as yearly earnings fell short of expectations and clients transferring from recently acquired Merrill funds were set to reach only the low end of its target range.MARKET SNAPSHOT
* Canada stock futures traded down 0.11 percent
* U.S. stock futures , , were mixed around -0.17 percent to 0.29 percent
* European shares, were up COMMODITY PRICE MOVES
* Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB Index : 284.1641; rose 0.08 percent
* Gold futures : $1,248.3; rose 0.62 percent
* US crude : $97.52; rose 0.03 percent
* Brent crude : $106; fell 0.38 percent
* LME 3-month copper : $7,050.25; fell 0.21 percent CANADIAN STOCKS TO WATCH
* TransCanada Corp : Replacing the Keystone XL pipeline with oil-laden freight trains from Canada may result in an average of six additional rail-related deaths per year, according to a U.S. State Department report that is adding to pressure for President Barack Obama to approve the line. ANALYSTS’ RECOMMENDATIONS
Following is a summary of research actions on Canadian companies reported by Reuters.
* Cascades Inc : National Bank Financial raises price target to C$8 from C$7.50 based on positive momentum as it relates to pricing and costing
* DeeThree Exploration Ltd : National Bank Financial starts with outperform rating and price target of C$11.50, believes the current valuation is reflective of top-tier growth metrics to date and go-forward targets
* TMX Group Ltd : National Bank Financial raises price target to C$49 from C$48 to reflect higher-than-expected secondary financings during the fourth quarter ON THE CALENDAR
* Major Canadian economic data includes producer price index, raw materials prices and RBC manufacturing PMI
* Major U.S. events and data includes Markit manufacturing PMI, construction spending and domestic vehicle sales