July 19 (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index looked set to open higher on Friday, supported by higher commodity markets and the U.S. Federal Reserve’s assurances about its plans for stimulus withdrawal.
* The Group of 20 nations backed a tax plan that takes aim at the loopholes used by multinational firms and responds to anger among voters hit with higher tax bills to cover soaring national debts.
* Google Inc on Thursday reported second-quarter results short of Wall Street’s estimates as weakening prices for the Internet company’s ads and widening losses from its Motorola mobile phone business weighed on the bottom line.
* Microsoft Corp on Thursday reported lower-than-expected quarterly earnings as slow personal computer sales ate into its Windows business and the company took an unexpected $900 million charge for its inventory of unsold Surface tablets.
* Baker Hughes Inc, the world’s third-largest oilfield services provider, reported a lower-than-expected second-quarter profit due mainly to weak margins in North America.
* Schlumberger Ltd, the world’s largest oilfield services company, posted a better-than-expected profit for the seventh quarter as drilling activity outside North America touched a 30-year high.
* Canada stock futures traded up 0.08 percent
* U.S. stock futures , , were mixed around 0.01 percent to -0.07 percent
* European shares, were down
* Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB Index : 291.8887; rose 0.28 percent
* Gold futures : $1,290; rose 0.42 percent
* US crude : $108.57; rose 0.49 percent
* Brent crude : $108.98; rose 0.26 percent
* LME 3-month copper : $6,948.25; rose 0.63 percent
* TransCanada Corp : The company expects to announce potential interest in using its proposed Energy East crude oil pipeline project in the next couple of weeks, CEO Russ Girling said on Thursday. The pipeline would funnel crude oil from western receipt points to delivery points in the Montréal and Québec City, Quebec, and Saint John, New Brunswick, areas.
Following is a summary of research actions on Canadian companies reported by Reuters.
* BlackBerry : BMO raises to market perform from underperform, believes enterprises may start to increase deployments of BB10 now that an updated version of BES 10 is out.
* Eldorado Gold Corp : Raymond James cuts price target to $11 from $14, says the company’s investment case remains appealing to investors in today’s marketplace given its low cost and well capitalized position.
* Shoppers Drug Mart Corp : BMO raises price target to C$62 from C$61.50 after the company reported second-quarter results above market consensus.
* Whitecap Resources Inc : Raymond James raises price target to C$13 from C$12.50 following the company’s acquisition of the Valhalla/Garrington assets.
* Major Canadian economic data includes CPI
* Major U.S. events and data includes ECRI weekly index