April 22 (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index was set to open higher after successful Italian elections showed the country may be on its way to political resolution and the Group of 20 accepted Japan’s aggressive stimulus policies, helping counter gloom over the global outlook.
But investors were keeping a close eye on the release of results from North American companies, including Canadian National Railway Co and Rogers Communications Inc .
* Hopes of an end to two months of political deadlock in Italy drove its financial markets higher after the re-election of 87-year-old Giorgio Napolitano suggested parties may be nearer a deal to form a government.
* Japan’s central bank governor and finance minister reiterated that the Group of 20 countries accepted that Japan’s monetary easing is not aimed at weakening the yen, potentially giving speculators license to push the currency down further.
* Boeing Co began installing reinforced lithium ion batteries on five grounded 787 jets owned by launch customer All Nippon Airways, starting a process that should make the first commercial Dreamliners ready to fly again in about a week.
* Swiss industrial group ABB is to buy solar energy firm Power-One Inc for about $1 billion, betting growth in emerging markets will revive a sector ravaged by over capacity and plunging demand in recession-hit Europe.
* Air Canada estimated a bigger operating loss for the first quarter, and will record an impairment charge of C$24 million related to Airbus A340-300 aircraft.
* Canada stock futures traded up 0.8 percent
* U.S. stock futures , , were up around 0.45 percent to 0.53 percent
* European shares, were up
* Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB Index : 284.3516; rose 0.23 percent
* Gold futures : $1,434.9; rose 2.84 percent
* US crude : $88.6; rose 0.67 percent
* Brent crude : $100.42; rose 0.77 percent
* LME 3-month copper : $6,920; fell 1 percent
* Barrick Gold Corp : The gold producer, battling heavy debt and a slump in gold prices, has put three mines in Western Australia up for sale, a person familiar with the process said.
* Eastern Platinum Ltd : The company suspended funding for Crocodile River mine in South Africa, its only producing mine, due to falling platinum prices and the labor unrest in the country.
Following is a summary of research actions on Canadian companies reported by Reuters.
* Husky Energy Inc : Canaccord Genuity raises price target to C$34 from C$33 on valuation.
* Ithaca Energy Inc : RBC raises target price to C$3.60 from C$3.40, says the company’s investment case remains focused upon development of its Greater Stella Area projects, but it is now supported by a larger diversified production portfolio.
* TransForce Inc. CIBC cuts target price to C$23.50 from C$25.50 after the company reported disappointing first-quarter earnings.
* No major Canadian economic data scheduled
* Major U.S. events and data includes Chicago Fed National Activity Index and existing home sales data