April 8 (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index looked set to open slightly higher as the start of the Bank of Japan’s bond-buying program as part of its aggressive monetary policy boosts investor sentiment.
* German industrial output rebounded on increases in capital goods and energy production, but a sharp downward revision of the January figure exposed weakness to start the year.
* Euro zone sentiment fell for a second consecutive month in April due to concerns over the Cyprus bailout, Sentix research group said.
* Portugal’s government will cut spending to meet targets agreed with its lenders after a court overturned key austerity measures, Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho said on Sunday.
* Canada is investigating a report that its largest bank, Royal Bank of Canada, is using temporary foreign workers hired by an outsourcing company to effectively replace existing staff, a situation the government said it would not accept.
* Voter fatigue with Canada’s ruling Conservatives and signs of stress within the government are putting Prime Minister Stephen Harper under pressure to freshen up his team and policies.
* Canada stock futures traded up around 0.03 percent
* U.S. stock futures , , were up around 0.12 percent and 0.38 percent
* European shares, were up
* Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB Index : 290.2366; rose 0.5 percent
* Gold futures : $1,577.1; rose 0.11 percent
* US crude : $93.5; rose 0.86 percent
* Brent crude : $105.37; rose 1.2 percent
* LME 3-month copper : $7,503; rose 1.3 percent
* Bombardier Inc : The train and airplane maker said its train unit signed an agreement with German engineering group Siemens AG to supply 336 million euros of train components to state-owned rail operator Deutsche Bahn.
* Labrador Iron Ore Royalty Corp : The company said on Friday it has hired advisors to consider a possible sale or other strategic options following reports that Rio Tinto may sell its controlling stake in the company’s only asset.
Following is a summary of research actions on Canadian companies reported by Reuters.
* Altagas Ltd : NBF resumes coverage with outperform after the closing of a $405 million equity financing at $34.90 per share the net proceeds of which will be used to partially fund the $515 million acquisition of Blythe Energy LLC.
* Cameco Corp : Canaccord Genuity cuts rating to hold from buy on valuation
* Canadian National Railway Co : CIBC raises price target to C$110 from C$105 as the company’s headcount reductions and efficiency improvements look to be slightly deeper or better-than-expected by 2014
* Reitmans Canada Ltd : CIBC cuts price target to C$11 from C$13 as the company announced weak fourth-quarter results due to a decrease in the store base and higher-than-expected operating expenses
* Vicwest Inc : CIBC cuts price target to C$15 from C$16, says the company can face rough weather in the first quarter following delay of shipments to retailers due to the hard winter and blizzards in March and slowdown in the Quebec market due to corruption inquiries
* No major Canadian economic data scheduled for release
* Major U.S. events and data includes Chicago Fed Midwest manufacturing index and employment trend index data