March 14 (Reuters) - Toronto’s stock index looked set to open lower even as positive U.S. retail sales helped bolster hopes of a global economic recovery.
* Soaring unemployment and biting austerity will top the agenda at a summit of EU leaders, with the social consequences of the region’s debt crisis now seen as the greatest threat to the survival of the single currency.
* President Barack Obama met with his toughest critics in Washington - House of Representatives Republicans - and made little headway in convincing them to accept his demand for tax increases as part of a deficit-reduction deal.
* China’s parliament formally elected heir-in-waiting Xi Jinping as the country’s new president.
* BlackBerry will offer a solution to separate and secure work and personal data on mobile devices powered by Google Inc’s Android platform and Apple Inc’s iOS operating system.
* Media and telecommunications conglomerate Quebecor Inc reported a 89 percent fall in quarterly profit after it booked a debt refinancing-related charge and on higher costs.
* Honda Motor Co Ltd will recall nearly 250,000 vehicles globally, including some Acura MDX crossover SUVs, due to braking problems, the automaker said.
* Canada stock futures traded down 0.08 percent
* U.S. stock futures , , were up around 0.21 percent
* European shares, were up
* Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB Index : 294.7774; fell 0.18 percent
* Gold futures : $1,579.3; fell 0.57 percent
* US crude : $92.21; fell 0.34 percent
* Brent crude : $108.97; rose 0.41 percent
* LME 3-month copper : $7,797.25; rose 0.13 percent
* Cameco Corp : The company has begun shipping uranium concentrate to China, the company said, tapping into what could become a lucrative market for years to come.
* Pacific Rubiales : A Colombian arbitration tribunal on Wednesday ruled in favor of state-run oil company Ecopetrol in a dispute with the oil company over the revenues generated by an oil field run by the companies.
* Travel operator Transat AT Inc reported a smaller first-quarter loss as higher selling prices helped shore up margins.
Following is a summary of research actions on Canadian companies reported by Reuters.
* Canadian Natural Resources : Stifel raises to buy from hold on changes in valuation and earnings estimates, says the company is well positioned for the second half of 2013
* Fortress Paper Ltd : RBC raises target to C$10 from C$9 after the company said it is selling its Nonwoven Wallpaper Business to Glatfelter, says the additional liquidity will go a long way toward easing investor concerns
* Genivar Inc : CIBC cuts target price to C$25.50 from C$26.50 citing a lower-than-expected 2013 revenue outlook
* Power Financial Corp : CIBC raises to sector outperformer from sector performer and raises target price to C$32.50 from C$31 on positive view of the Irish Life transaction and an abnormally wide NAV discount
* Transcontinental Inc : Canaccord Genuity cuts to sell and cuts target price to C$9.40 from C$10.50 on recent price appreciation and special dividend announcement
* Major Canadian economic data includes capacity utilization and new housing price index data
* Major U.S. events and data includes jobless claims and producer price index data