July 18 (Reuters) - Canadian stocks looked set to open lower on Wednesday, dragged down by weaker commodities, after U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke gave little indication the central bank was close to launching fresh monetary stimulus.
* Russian miner Nord Gold, the country’s third-largest gold producer, will bid for the 25 percent of High River Gold Mines it does not already own, in a deal valuing the Canadian-listed producer at $1.2 billion.
* Bank of America Corp reported a second-quarter profit as the second-largest U.S. bank cut costs and reduced reserves for loan losses.
* China home prices broke eight straight months of decline in June in a tentative sign that pro-growth policies are gaining traction in the world’s second biggest economy, now in its longest sequential slowdown since the global financial crisis.
* Credit Suisse unveiled measures to boost its capital base by 15.3 billion Swiss francs, a move that was welcomed by a previously critical central bank and left some investors skeptical.
* Australia’s Qantas Airways is the latest company to drop Research in Motion Ltd’s Blackberry after employees voted in favor of Apple’s iPhone in a survey.
* Canada stock futures traded down 0.44 percent
* U.S. stock futures , , were down around 0.24 percent
* European shares, were up
* Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB Index : 295.14; fell 0.17 percent
* Gold futures : $1,583.7; fell 0.34 percent
* US crude : $89.04; fell 0.2 percent
* Brent crude : $104.08; rose 0.08 percent
* LME 3-month copper : $7,603.75; rose 0.12 percent
* Onex Corp. : The bankrupt aircraft maker Hawker Beechcraft Inc said a U.S. bankruptcy court approved its plans to enter into exclusive talks with China’s Superior Aviation Beijing Co over a sale of the company for $1.79 billion.
Following is a summary of research actions on Canadian companies reported by Reuters.
* AG Growth International Inc : CIBC cuts price target to C$35 from C$40 as deterioration in U.S. corn yields decrease inventory build of the company.
* Veresen Inc : CIBC cuts to sector performer on weaker NGL margin outlook.
* Meg Energy : CIBC raises target to C$50 from C$47 and rates sector outperformer on higher bitumen production and the stock trading at only 76 percent of CIBC risked NAV.
* Forbes and Manhattan Coal : Canaccord Genuity cuts target to C$2.40 from C$2.60 on higher than expected costs.
* Penn West Petroleum Ltd : RBC cuts to sector perform from outperform on revised outlook.
* Major U.S. events and data includes housing starts data