August 8 (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index futures pointed to a lower open on Thursday despite robust Chinese economic data that boosted global markets. TOP STORIES
* Surprisingly firm rebounds in China’s exports and imports in July offered some hope that the world’s second-largest economy might be stabilising after more than two years of slowing growth, although an imminent rebound still looks unlikely.
* BCE Inc reported a 22 percent fall in profit but a marginal increase in revenue, with strong growth in wireless.
* Quebecor Inc reported a 15 percent rise in quarterly profit, mainly due to growth at its telecommunications business, but total revenue rose less than 1 percent.
* Tim Hortons Inc reported a 14 percent rise in second-quarter profit, and said it would increase its share buyback by C$900 million.
* Agrium Inc reported a fall in quarterly profit due to an unusually cold spring in North America, but said it expected strong demand for crop inputs for the rest of the year.
* Manulife Financial Corp reported a second-quarter profit, just missing analysts’ estimates, as it absorbed a smaller loss from financial market movements.MARKET SNAPSHOT
* Canada stock futures traded down 0.13 percent
* U.S. stock futures , , were up around 0.25 percent to 0.43 percent
* European shares, were up COMMODITY PRICE MOVES
* Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB Index : 282.6587; rose 0.21 percent
* Gold futures : $1,291.3; rose 0.4 percent
* US crude : $103.84; fell 0.51 percent
* Brent crude : $106.89; fell 0.51 percent
* LME 3-month copper : $7,197; rose 2.73 percent CANADIAN STOCKS TO WATCH
* Canadian Natural Resources Ltd : The company reaffirmed its full-year production forecast, counting on its Horizon oil sands project to make up for a fall in production in the second quarter.
* Canadian Tire Corp : The company reported a 16 percent rise in second-quarter profit as higher sales in its namesake retail brand boosted margins.
Following is a summary of research actions on Canadian companies reported by Reuters.
* Air Canada : CIBC raises target price to C$4.75 from C$4 following the company’s strong performance in second quarter
* Labrador Iron Ore Royalty Corp : RBC cuts price target to C$34 from C$37 as the company reported earnings below expected lines
* New Flyer Industries Inc : CIBC raises target price to C$12 from C$11.50 reflecting a change in the company’s net debt
* Sun Life Financial Inc : CIBC raises target price to C$35 from C$32, says the company’s sales performance was solid, all of which helps sustain the favourable medium-term outlook ON THE CALENDAR
* Major Canadian economic data includes new housing PI
* Major U.S. events and data includes initial and continuing claims