Aug 17 (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index looked set to open higher on Friday, extending gains from the previous session, after German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she supported the European Central Bank’s efforts to resolve the debt crisis.
* Canadian inflation is forecast to have remained tame in July, with the annual core rate coming in right on the Bank of Canada’s 2 percent target, and likely having little influence on its early September interest rate decision.
* Trade volumes for the euro zone rose in the first half of the year, the EU statistics office said on Friday, underlining the area’s dependence on external sources of growth as economic activity within the zone stagnates.
* German Chancellor Angela Merkel voiced support for ECB President Mario Draghi’s crisis-fighting strategy on Thursday and pressed her European partners to move swiftly towards a closer integration of fiscal policies, saying time was running short.
* Top officials at two of the Federal Reserve’s most hawkish regional banks weighed in against further monetary policy easing, and a third on Thursday suggested the Fed may not need to wait until late 2014 before raising interest rates.
* Canada stock futures traded up 0.13 percent
* U.S. stock futures , , were mixed in the range of -0.08 percent to +0.1 percent
* European shares, were up
* Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB Index : 301.95; fell 0.15 percent
* Gold futures : $1,615.2; fell 0.06 percent
* US crude : $95.17; fell 0.45 percent
* Brent crude : $113.81; fell 1.27 percent
* LME 3-month copper : $7,511; rose 0.83 percent
* Potash Corp : The global producer of its namesake crop nutrient, said on Thursday it will shut down its Lanigan, Saskatchewan mine for nearly a month, as the fertilizer industry grapples with large supplies.
* Research In Motion : The BlackBerry maker plans to provide users with an easy way to tap their contacts’ public profiles -- including blog posts, tweets, emails and other details -- in its latest push to regain ground in the smartphone market.
Following is a summary of research actions on Canadian companies reported by Reuters.
* Alderon Iron Ore : NBF cuts price target to C$4.75 from C$5 to reflect the amendment in the JV deal between the company and Hebei for the Kami project Allied Properties REIT : CIBC raises price target to C$33 from C$30 after the company reported second-quarter FFO per share inline with estimates and a 13.6 percent growth in same property net operating income Hudbay Minerals : BMO cuts price target to C$12.50 from C$13 to reflect the removal of the Back Forty exploration property and updated valuations for the junior exploration portfolio of public companies Laurentian Bank of Canada : NBF cuts price target to C$57 from C$58, says stretched household balance sheets continue to weigh on personal credit Progressive Waste Solutions : CIBC starts with a sector performer rating and sets $22 price target on valuation
* Major Canadian economic data includes inflation data
* Major U.S. events and data includes Leading indicators and Reuters/ University of Michigan confidence index