June 18 (Reuters) - Canadian stock index futures pointed to a lower open on Tuesday, dragged down by weaker commodity prices as investors looked forward to the two-day Federal Reserve policy meeting which could give investors hints on the future of its monetary easing program.
* The European Central Bank is "ready to act" if need be to aid the euro zone economy and recent signs of market stabilization mean that its interest rates are becoming a more effective tool again.
* German analyst and investor sentiment rose for a second straight month in June, a leading survey showed, suggesting Europe's largest economy is on track for a modest recovery after a weak end to 2012 and sluggish start to this year.
* Talisman Enegy Inc is exploring the sale of its shale assets in the Eagle Ford basin in south Texas, hoping it could raise as much as $2 billion, two people familiar with the matter said on Monday.
* New York-based hedge fund Third Point said it has raised its stake in Sony Corp and urged the Japanese company to create an independent board to run a partially spun-off entertainment arm with Sony's CEO, Kazuo Hirai, as its chairman.
* German cable operator Kabel Deutschland confirmed on Monday that they have received a preliminary approach from U.S. media group Liberty Global after a British newspaper reported that the company had put forward a 7.5-billion-euro bid for the company.
* Canada stock futures traded down 0.27 percent
* U.S. stock futures , , were up around 0.07 percent to 0.18 percent
* European shares, were mixed
* Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB Index : 286.277; fell 0.18 percent
* Gold futures : $1,373.7; fell 0.66 percent
* US crude : $97.79; rose 0.02 percent
* Brent crude : $105.48; rose 0.01 percent
* LME 3-month copper : $7,016; fell 0.95 percent
* Tim Hortons Inc : The restaurant chain, which recently outlined plans to address the concerns of activist investor Highfields Capital, now faces pressure from another such investor.
Following is a summary of research actions on Canadian companies reported by Reuters.
* Bank of Montreal : Barclays cuts target to C$59 from C$63, says the bank has faced several inherent environmental risks including credit, market, liquidity and funding risks.
* Bank of Nova Scotia : Barclays cuts to equal weight as a result of lower target multiples on the banks reflecting the low-growth environment.
* TD Bank : Barclays cuts to equal weight from overweight, says it has a significant exposure to the U.S. economy with its retail banking platform, including lending and securities related to real estate.
* No major Canadian economic data scheduled
* Major U.S. events and data includes consumer price index, housing starts, building permits and Redbook data