Oct 25 (Reuters) - Canadian stocks looked set to open slightly higher on Tuesday, buoyed by rising commodity prices, although the much awaited European Union summit aimed at providing a plan to end the euro zone debt crisis may keep investors on edge.
* Canadian equity futures <0#SXF:> pointed to a higher open.
* U.S. stock index futures rose, supported by strong earnings from blue chip companies. [.N]
* European shares steadied as earnings news offset fresh political uncertainty a day ahead of the euro zone leaders’ meeting that many hope will take a big step towards solving the region’s two-year-old debt crisis. [.EU]
* Markets in Asia were mixed, with the Nikkei average dropping, reversing early gains as hopes for progress in Europe’s debt crisis gave way to caution on the domestic front as Japan’s corporate earnings season kicked off. ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ 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 0.96 percent in early trade.
* Brent was steady above $111 as concerns over Europe’s economic health kept prices in check, while U.S. oil rose for a third straight day to hit a fresh three-month high. [O/R]
* Gold was set for a third consecutive daily rise, benefiting from growing investor optimism over the ability of European leaders to stem the spread of the debt crisis, which restricted gains in the U.S. dollar. [GOL/]
* Copper prices steadied on Tuesday, falling from one-month highs hit earlier as some investors grew nervous ahead of an EU summit many had hoped would deliver a convincing plan to deal with the region’s debt crisis. [MET/L]
* Ecopetrol ECP.TO: The Colombia’s state oil company has switched the pricing basis for its Vasconia and Castilla grade crude oils from troubled U.S. benchmark West Texas Intermediate to North Sea Brent, market sources said on Thursday. [ID:nN1E79J1W5]
* Pacific Rubiales PRE.TO: Some 4,000 Colombian workers renewed a strike against the oil installations of Pacific Rubiales in a peaceful demonstration that so far has yet to impact the 242,000 barrels per day under production, workers and the company said. [ID:nN1E79N1ZM]
* West Fraser Timber (WFT.TO): The lumber and wooden panels maker posted a sharp drop in third-quarter profit, as a weak U.S. housing market continued to hurt the company. [ID:nN1E76K1VM]
* Capstone Infrastructure Corp. CSE.TO: The company said it would raise C$75 million in a discounted bought deal, to repay part of funds used to acquire Bristol Water. [ID:nL3E7LO384]
Following is a summary of research actions on Canadian companies reported by Reuters. [RCH/CA]
* Crombie REIT (CRR_u.TO) price target raised to C$14 from C$13.75 at CIBC
* Distinction Group GD.TO coverage started with outperform; price target of C$4.25 at National Bank
* Firstservice (FSV.TO) price target cut to C$39.50 from C$44.50 at CIBC
* Lundin Mining (LUN.TO) coverage started with outperform; price target C$7 at National Bank
* Western Copper and Gold (WRN.TO) price target cut to C$7.20 from C$7.40 at CIBC
$1= $1.00 Canadian Reporting by Karan Khemani; Editing by Jeffrey Hodgson