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Oct 21 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index was set to open slightly higher on Friday, supported by stronger commodity prices, but investor's anxiety continued as the decision on clear steps to stem the euro zone crisis was pushed to Oct 26.
Canada's annual core inflation rate jumped in September to its highest level since December 2008 to 2.2 percent, causing traders to scale back rate cut expectations and boosting the Canadian dollar. [ID:nN1E79K02G] [CAD/]
* Canadian equity futures <0#SXF:> pointed to a higher open.
* U.S. stock index futures edged higher ahead of a much anticipated European Union weekend summit on the region's debt crisis and as results from General Electric Co did little to undermine hopes for a robust earnings season. [.N]
* European shares extended gains, as investor sentiment was driven by various degree of optimism that policymakers would make progress on a solution to the euro zone debt crisis in the coming days. [.EU]
* Most Asian shares fell, with the Nikkei lower in thin trade as investors stay on sidelines. ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ 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, rose 1.03 percent in early trade.
* U.S. crude oil futures rose more than $1 a barrel as financial markets awaited two key summits of European leaders to agree a solution to the euro zone's debt crisis. [O/R]
* Gold rose more than 1 percent to a session high of $1,636.99 an ounce as the dollar fell against a basket of currencies. [GOL/]
* Prices of industrial metals rallied as hopes for an imminent solution to the euro zone debt crisis were reinforced by German government sources who said bank recapitalization should be decided at a meeting of European Union finance ministers on Saturday. [MET/L]
* Precision Drilling Corp. PD.TO: The oil and gas drilling contractor reported a 48 percent rise in third-quarter profit and said it expects dayrates to continue to increase through the fourth quarter. [ID:nL3E7LL1KC]
* Air Canada ACa.TO ACb.TO: The airline its flight attendants' union agreed to avoid a strike and let an arbitrator resolve a labor dispute between the two sides. [ID:nN1E79J2AS]
* Celtic Exploration Ltd. CLT.TO: The oil and gas explorer said its Kaybob K3 gas plant in Alberta was shut down and remained offline for nine days due to certain mechanical issues. [ID:nL3E7LL1NY]
* Celestica Inc. (CLS.TO): The contract electronics maker's third-quarter profit more than doubled, partly helped by a rise in sales at its enterprise communications segment. [ID:nL3E7LK3BD]
Following is a summary of research actions on Canadian companies reported by Reuters. [RCH/CA]
* Celestica Inc (CLS.TO) price target cut to C$12 from C$13 at CIBC
* Canexus Corp CUS.TO coverage started with outperform; price target C$6.75 at National Bank
$1= $1.01 Canadian Reporting By Chandra Ramarathnam; Editing by Jeffrey Hodgson