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July 11 (Reuters) - Canadian stock index futures looked set to open higher on Thursday after comments from the Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke that the U.S. central bank was not as close to winding up its monetary stimulus program as markets anticipated, improved investor sentiment.
* About half of the Federal Reserve's policymakers felt the U.S. central bank's bond-buying stimulus should be brought to a halt by year end when they met in June, but many wanted reassurance the U.S. jobs recovery was on solid ground before any policy retreat.
* The Bank of Japan said the world's third-largest economy was finally recovering as it kept monetary policy steady, its most optimistic view in two-and-half years reflecting the impact of a weakening yen and its massive monetary stimulus on activity.
* The European Central Bank has not "tied itself to the mast" with its use of forward guidance on low interest rates, and could raise them if inflationary pressures emerge in the future, ECB policymaker Jens Weidmann said.
* Canadian media company Corus Entertainment Inc said third-quarter profit more than doubled, mainly due to the sale of its non-controlling interest in speciality channel Food Network Canada.
* KFC parent Yum Brands Inc on Wednesday reported a smaller than expected decline in June sales at established restaurants in China, showing signs of recovery after sales were drastically hit by a food safety scare and a bird flu outbreak.
* Canada stock futures traded up 1.18 percent
* U.S. stock futures , , were up around 0.9 percent to 1.05 percent
* European shares, were up
* Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB Index : 287.6887; rose 0.34 percent
* Gold futures : $1,282; rose 2.77 percent
* U.S. crude : $105.85; fell 0.63 percent
* Brent crude : $108.29; fell 0.2 percent
* LME 3-month copper : $7,028.5; rose 2.98 percent
Following is a summary of research actions on Canadian companies reported by Reuters.
* Cineplex Inc : Canaccord Genuity raises target price by C$1 to C$31 on new estimates and valuation.
* Petroamerica Oil : Canaccord Genuity starts with buy rating given the company's growth potential, attractive valuation, and light oil orientation.
* Sirius XM Canada Holdings : Canaccord Genuity raises target to C$8.20 from C$7.75 to reflect the strong dividend yield and high dividend growth prospects.
* Major Canadian economic data includes new housing price index
* Major U.S. events and data includes import and export prices, initial and continuing claims and Federal budget