May 31 (Reuters) - Canadian stock index futures pointed to a lower open on Friday as commodity prices slipped, with many investors still nervous about the possibility that the U.S. Federal Reserve could end its monetary easing policy sooner than previously expected.
* Unemployment has reached a new high in the euro zone and inflation remains well below the European Central Bank's target, underscoring just how severe a challenge EU leaders face to revive the bloc's sickly economy.
* Japan's factory output accelerated in April and deflation abated a bit as a weaker yen and firmer overseas demand boosted growth, boding well for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's efforts to shake the world's third-largest economy out of nearly two decades of falling prices and sluggish growth.
* New Gold Inc agreed to acquire gold exploration company Rainy River Resources Ltd for about C$310 million in a bid to expand its asset base in Canada.
* Samsung Electronics has chosen an Intel Corp processor to power a new version of one of its top-tier Android tablets, a source with knowledge of the plans told Reuters, in a major victory for the chipmaker, which is struggling to find its footing in the mobile market.
* Lloyds Banking Group has sold a portfolio of U.S. residential mortgage-backed securities for 3.3 billion pounds, boosting the British lender's capital and sharpening its focus on domestic lending.
* Canada stock futures traded down 0.29 percent
* U.S. stock futures , , were down around 0.47 to 0.5 percent
* European shares, were down
* Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB Index : 283.6386; fell 0.23 percent
* Gold futures : $1,406.7; fell 0.34 percent
* US crude : $92.97; fell 0.68 percent
* Brent crude : $101.64; fell 0.54 percent
* LME 3-month copper : $7,255; fell 0.85 percent
Following is a summary of research actions on Canadian companies reported by Reuters.
* Descartes Systems Group Inc : Canaccord Genuity raises price target to $12.50 from $11.50 on the company's solid quarterly results.
* Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce : KBW cuts price target to C$76.00 citing a potential for lower earnings and risk from the company's Aeroplan agreement with Aimia.
* Manitok Energy Inc : RBC raises to outperform from sector perform and target price to C$4 from C$3.50 ahead of visible H2 production growth from the company's Stolberg Cardium development program, an upcoming Cabin Creek well and above-average financial flexibility.
* Major Canadian economic data includes gross domestic product
* Major U.S. events and data includes personal income, PCE price index, personal spending, Chicago PMI, Reuters and University of Michigan sentiment and ECRI weekly index