July 4 (Reuters) - Canadian equity futures pointed to a higher open, a day after Toronto's main stock index recorded its biggest single-day gain of 2012 on hopes the European Central Bank and its global peers will soon ease policy to revive flagging growth.
Trading volumes were expected to remain light on account of the U.S. holiday.
* The euro zone's private sector downturn eased only slightly in June as companies slashed prices, according to business surveys on Wednesday that supported expectations the European Central Bank will cut interest rates this week.
* Canadian exchange operator TMX Group said on Wednesday its proposed acquisition by a consortium of Canadian financial institutions has won approval from Canada's top securities regulator, the Ontario Securities Commission.
* Bob Diamond squares up to critical British lawmakers on Wednesday, a day after quitting as Barclays' CEO over an interest rate rigging scandal, and could drag the Bank of England, government and rival banks deeper into the affair.
* Nine of the largest global banks on Tuesday expressed confidence they can be salvaged or dismantled without taxpayer bailouts if they became insolvent, as U.S. regulators released public portions of these banks' "living wills".
* Most major automakers showed stronger-than-expected U.S. June sales gains as low interest rates, falling gas prices and still-significant incentives encouraged consumers to set aside concerns about the economy.
* Canada stock futures traded up 0.15 percent
* European shares, were down
* Gold Futures : $1616.3; fell 0.31 percent
* US Crude : $87.01; fell 0.74 percent
* Brent Crude : $99.89; fell 0.78 percent
* LME 3-month Copper : $7714.5; fell 1.34 percent
* Africa Oil : The company said on Wednesday it has found an additional 43 meters of potential oil pay in its Ngamia-1 well in northern Kenya where the east African country announced its first oil discovery in March.
* Avion Gold Corp . : The gold miner raised its gold production forecast for the year as it found higher grades of ore at its Tabakoto mine in west Africa.
Following is a summary of research actions on Canadian companies reported by Reuters.
* Crombie REIT : National Bank Financial resumes coverage with sector perform rating and price target of C$14.75; says a greater focus on third-party acquisitions will enhance the REIT's external growth profile
* Migao Corp : Canaccord Genuity cuts price target to C$2 from C$2.75 after the Chinese specialty fertilizer maker posts quarterly loss on impairment cost; keeps sell rating
* Peyto Exploration : Barclays raises price target to C$21 from C$20 on expectations that its acquisition of Open Range will boost valuations; keeps equal weight rating
* Trican Well Service : RBC cuts target price to C$15 from C$17 after the company forecast wider-than-expected second-quarter loss; keeps sector perform rating
* Pan American Silver : Raymond James cuts price target of its U.S.-listed shares to $26.50 from $30 as Chubut's proposed draft mining legislation, if approved in its current form, may effectively render the company's Navidad project uneconomic
* No major Canadian economic data scheduled for release
* U.S. markets are closed in observance of Independence day