April 24 (Reuters) - Canadian stock index futures pointed to a higher open, supported by some stronger-than-expected North American corporate earnings and data from Germany that boosted hopes of a European Central Bank rate cut.
* Apple Inc on Tuesday bowed to investors' demands to share more of its $145 billion cash pile, while posting its first quarterly profit decline in more than a decade.
* Barrick Gold Corp reported an 18 percent drop in first-quarter profit on lower metal prices and volumes, and cut its capital spending for this year. But Barrick shares rose in pre-market trading.
* Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd reported a 53 percent rise in first-quarter profit as freight revenue rose and it improved its efficiency.
* Cenovus Energy Inc reported a higher first-quarter operating profit as margins at its U.S. refineries improved.
* Metro Inc more than tripled its second-quarter earnings, helped by an after-tax one-time gain of C$266.4 million related to the sale of 10 million shares of Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc.
* MEG Energy Corp reported a first-quarter loss, compared with a profit a year earlier, after a weaker Canadian dollar and lower prices overshadowed higher production.
* European shares built on their best day in seven months and oil climbed back above $101 per barrel on Wednesday after weak data bolstered expectations for a European Central Bank rate cut.
* Canada stock futures traded up 0.36 percent
* U.S. stock futures , , were up around 0.14 percent
* European shares, were up
* Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB Index : 282.3819; rose 0.31 percent
* Gold futures : $1,421.5; rose 0.92 percent
* US crude : $89.59; rose 0.46 percent
* Brent crude : $100.9; rose 0.59 percent
* LME 3-month copper : $6,971; rose 1.47 percent
* BlackBerry : The company said its new smartphone BlackBerry Q10 will be available in Canada starting May 1 through Rogers Wireless Inc, Telus Corp and Bell Mobility.
* The Bank of Nova Scotia : Colombian financial group Sura and Bank of Nova Scotia said on Tuesday they bought the Peruvian pension fund BBVA Horizonte for a total of $516 million.
Following is a summary of research actions on Canadian companies reported by Reuters.
* CRH Medical Corp : Bloom Burton cuts to hold from buy, believes although the company's first-quarter earnings came in line with expectations, the balance sheet is not sufficient to acquire any other products that could meaningfully add to its top line although management has indicated it continues to scan the environment for possible acquisitions.
* Encana Corp : Canaccord Genuity cuts price target by $1 to $20.50, says the company's new hedges in 2014 have further removed its torque to any additional potential natural gas price strength.
* Teck Resources Ltd : RBC cuts target price to C$38 from C$42 as the company noted that at current prices higher cost and lower quality mines are coming under pressure, and that the market has already seen production cut by approximately 30 million tonnes.
* No major Canadian economic data scheduled
* Major U.S. events and data includes durable goods and building permits