CANADA STOCKS--TSX set to open lower as U.S. shutdown weighs
Oct 2 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index looked set to open lower on Wednesday as a partial U.S. government shutdown entered its second day, with investors worrying about its implications on debt ceiling talks later this month.
* President Barack Obama and congressional Republicans came no closer to ending a standoff on Tuesday that has forced the first government shutdown in 17 years and thrown hundreds of thousands of federal employees out of work.
* The European Central Bank left interest rates unchanged, holding off any fresh policy action for now while it waits to see whether a fragile euro zone recovery strengthens.
* Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta appeared on course to win a confidence vote following a flood of defections from media tycoon Silvio Berlusconi's centre-right party.
* Three of the top 20 investors in Microsoft Corp are lobbying the board to press for Bill Gates to step down as chairman of the software company he co-founded 38 years ago, according to people familiar with matter.
* Tesco, Britain's biggest retailer, posted flat sales 18 months into a 1 billion pound recovery plan for its main home market, a lack of growth exposed by accelerating sales at rival J Sainsbury.