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Aug 30 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock market index was set to open lower on Tuesday, hurt by easing oil and commodity prices, as investors remain cautious ahead of U.S. consumer confidence data and FOMC minutes.
* Canadian equity futures <0#SXF:> pointed to a lower open.
* U.S. stock index futures fell after the market rose nearly 8 percent in the past five sessions as investors cautiously awaited a batch of data for a better assessment on the state of the economy. [.N]
* A surge in British equities helped keep European shares positive, as major euro zone markets fell, after key indicators of economic activity came in below expectations, adding to worries that the region could go into recession. [.EU]
* Markets in Asia were up, with the Nikkei climbing for a fourth straight day but stopped short of 9,000 with the market wanting more reassurance that the U.S. economy was not slipping back into recession before testing that level. ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ To receive an early e-mail of Reuters Morning News Call - Canada -- a preview of market moving news -- Thomson Reuters subscribers can register at [CA/MNC] ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
* The Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB index .CRB, a global commodities benchmark, fell 0.16 percent in early trade.
* Brent crude slipped from three week highs, as the dollar firmed on the back of data from the United States suggesting the world's top oil consumer is not sliding back into recession. [O/R]
* Gold edged higher, following its worst weekly performance in two months last week, supported by improving physical demand and some investor uncertainty ahead of minutes from the U.S. Federal Reserve's recent policy meeting. [GOL/]
* Copper rose, helped by data that showed U.S. consumers were willing to spend, especially on cars, suggesting there is some strength in the world's biggest economy. [MET/L]
* Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS.TO): The bank's quarterly profit rose nearly 22 percent on high interest income and lower loan-loss provisions. [ID:nN1E77S104]
* TMX Group (X.TO): Maple Group's plan to acquire the company is on track, despite a retreating share price for the Toronto Stock Exchange operator. [ID:nN1E77S1A3]
Following is a summary of research actions on Canadian companies reported by Reuters. [RCH/CA]
* Aurico AUQ.TO rating raised to sector outperformer from sector performer at CIBC
* Energold Drilling Corp EGD.V price target cut to C$5.50 from C$6; rating buy at Salman Partners
* IBI Group Inc (IBG.TO) rating raised to sector outperformer from sector performer at CIBC
* MTY Food Group (MTY.TO) coverage started with outperform rating; C$19.25 target price at National Bank
$1= $0.98 Canadian Reporting by Karan Khemani; Editing by Jeffrey Hodgson