Dec 27 (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index looked set to open lower on Thursday, as investors closely eyed talks between the White House and Congress to avoid major fiscal tightening early next year.
The Toronto Stock Exchange was closed for holiday on Wednesday, when U.S. stocks fell, dragged lower by retail shares after a report showed consumers spent less in the holiday shopping season than last year.
* Efforts to prevent the U.S. economy from going over a “fiscal cliff” stirred back to life on Wednesday with less than a week to go before potentially disastrous tax hikes and spending cuts kick in at the New Year.
* Annual growth of China’s industrial profits quickened to 22.8 percent in November from October’s 20.5 percent, official data showed, reinforcing signs of a steady economic recovery thanks to pro-growth policies.
* Italy sold all the bills and bonds it aimed to at an auction on Thursday, a few days after outgoing Prime Minister Mario Monti announced he may join the election race to lead a reform-minded centrist alliance.
* Toyota Motor Corp has agreed to spend $1.1 billion to settle sweeping U.S. class-action litigation over claims that millions of its vehicles accelerate unintentionally, as the Japanese automaker seeks to move past the biggest safety crisis in its history.
* Canada stock futures traded down 0.14 percent
* U.S. stock futures , , were mixed in the range of -0.03 percent and 0.24 percent
* European shares, were up
* Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB Index : 295.7821; fell 0.13 percent
* Gold futures : $1,659.8; were unchanged
* US crude : $91.08; rose 0.11 percent
* Brent crude : $110.75; fell 0.29 percent
* LME 3-month copper : $7,893; rose 1.06 percent
* No major Canadian economic data scheduled for release
* Major U.S. events and data includes initial claims, consumer confidence and new home sales data