Aug 17 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index looked set to open higher on Wednesday as rising commodity prices boosts investors’ sentiment towards riskier assets.
* Canadian equity futures <0#SXF:> pointed to a higher open.
* U.S. stock index futures rose alongside oil prices and the euro, indicating a shift to risky assets. [.N]
* Financial services stocks bore the brunt of selling as the FTSEurofirst fell in response to proposals set out by French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel aimed at tackling the euro zone debt crisis. [.EU]
* Asian stocks were mixed, with Japanese shares falling, dragged down mainly by hi-tech firms. ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ To receive an early e-mail of Reuters Morning News Call - Canada -- a preview of market moving news -- Thomson Reuters subscribers can register at [CA/MNC] ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
* The Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB index .CRB, a global commodities benchmark, rose 0.81 percent in early trade.
* Brent crude rose to $110 a barrel after an industry report showed a larger-than-expected decline in U.S. gasoline supplies and upbeat economic data trumped concerns over the euro zone debt crisis. [O/R]
* Gold edged higher for a third day , propelled by investor unease over the fate of the euro zone after a Franco-German summit yielded no lasting solution to the regional debt crisis and riskier assets such as stocks eased. [GOL/]
* Copper rose on buying interest from Asia and arbitrage trading, but gains were limited as fears of a slower economic recovery, which may dent metals demand growth, dampened market sentiment. [MET/L]
* Air Canada Inc. ACa.TO: Canada’s competition watchdog is wrong in opposing a planned joint venture between Air Canada and United Continental Holdings, Canada’s biggest airline said. [ID:nN1E77F1P5]
* TransCanada Corp. (TRP.TO): The pipeline and power company has no firm commitments to ship gas on its proposed $40 billion pipeline from Alaska’s North Slope, despite 12 months of negotiations and the demise of a rival project, an executive with the company said on Tuesday. [ID:nN1E77F18C]
* Fairfax Financial Holdings FFH.TO: The insurer and investment Company said on Tuesday it had bought family-owned tableware retailer William Ashley China for an undisclosed sum. [ID:nN1E77F1UJ]
* ATS Automation Tooling Systems Inc (ATA.TO): The maker of factory automation systems and solar energy equipment, posted a higher first-quarter profit, helped by strong demand from life sciences and transportation industries. [ID:nL3E7JH1PR]
Following is a summary of research actions on Canadian companies reported by Reuters. [RCH/CA]
* Calmena Energy Services Inc CEZ.TO rating cut to sector perform from outperform at National Bank
* Chartwell Seniors Housing REIT CSH_u.TO price target cut to C$9.25 from C$9.75 at CIBC
* Imperial Metals Corp III.TO price target cut to C$35 from C$36 at CIBC
* Retrocom Mid Market REIT RMM_u.TO price target cut to C$6 from C$6.50 at CIBC
* San Gold Corp SGR.TO price target raised to C$4 from C$3.60 at CIBC ($1= $0.98 Canadian) (Reporting by Shrutee Sarkar)