(Corrects headline to show China move was to hike bank reserve requirements not rates)
Nov 19 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index looked set to open lower on Friday after news of China’s central bank taking steps to battle inflation by raising bank reserve requirements hit market sentiment globally.
* Canadian equity futures <0#SXF:> pointed to a lower open.
* U.S. stock index futures were lower on Friday after China’s central bank took steps to battle inflation. [.N]
* European shares were down around midday, as China’s central bank decision to raise banks’ required reserves felled worries over the country’s appetite for commodities, which hit mining stocks. [.EU]
* Asian markets were mixed with Nikkei gaining, propelled by hedge fund inflows from overseas and with a fall in the yen providing additional support.
* The Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB index .CRB, a global commodities benchmark, fell 0.38 percent in early trade.
* Oil prices remained above $82 a barrel, recovering from a brief dip after China increased banks’ reserve requirements by 50 basis points for the second time in two weeks. [O/R]
* Gold prices climbed in Europe, building on the previous session’s gains, as expectations that Ireland is near a multi-billion euro deal to help its beleaguered banks lifted the euro. [GOL/]
* Copper rose, extending the previous session’s gains, helped by a weaker dollar against the euro as talk of a multi-billion euro deal for Ireland boosted sentiment. [MET/L]
* Russel Metals RUS.TO: The company, which distributes steel and tubular products for the energy industry, said on Thursday unionized employees at five plants in British Colombia had ratified a five-year contract agreement. [ID:nN18118623]
* Adriana Resources Inc. ADI.V: China’s Wuhan Steel has signed an initial agreement with the company to develop an iron ore project in Canada, the 21st Century Business Herald reported on Friday. [ID:nTOE6AI01W]
Following is a summary of research actions on Canadian companies reported by Reuters. [RCH/CA]
* Wajax Income Fund WJX_u.TO rating cut to outperform from strong buy at Raymond James
$1=$1.02 Canadian Reporting by Kishan Nair and Bangalore Newsroom; editing by Jeffrey Hodgson