April 26 (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index looked set to open lower on Friday as investors turned cautious ahead of an initial reading of growth data from the world’s largest economy.
* Bank of Japan policymakers are divided whether the central bank can meet its inflation target in two years, underlining concerns it has set an unrealistic goal in its battle to end 15 years of deflation with a massive burst of monetary stimulus.
* Samsung Electronics Co Ltd reported its sixth straight quarter of profit growth ahead of the debut of its latest Galaxy smartphone, the South Korean IT giant’s biggest assault on rival Apple Inc yet.
* French oil firm Total posted a fall in first-quarter profit due to lower oil prices and a drop in oil and gas output, partly offset by a rise in its refining and chemicals business. * Agnico-Eagle Mines Ltd reported a drop in quarterly profit, hurt by lower gold prices and production, and raised its forecast cash costs for the year. * Amazon.com Inc’s revenue growth slowed in the first quarter as the world’s largest Internet retail struggled overseas, but margins jumped on lower shipping expenses and the expansion of more profitable new businesses.
* Canada stock futures traded down 0.39 percent
* U.S. stock futures , , were down around 0.16 percent to 0.35 percent
* European shares, were down
* Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB Index : 287.1732; fell 0.16 percent
* Gold futures : $1,472.9; rose 0.76 percent
* US crude : $93.32; fell 0.34 percent
* Brent crude : $102.93; fell 0.46 percent
* LME 3-month copper : $7,108.5; fell 1 percent
* Barrick Gold Corp : The miner said the head of its South American operations has resigned, adding the company is shaking up its troubled Pascua-Lama mine with the aim of meeting Chilean regulatory requirements to unfreeze the project.
Following is a summary of research actions on Canadian companies reported by Reuters.
* Barrick Gold Corp : CIBC cuts price target to $33 from $43 to reflect the recent compression of gold multiples and the assumed delay at the company’s Pascua Lama operations
* Dominion Diamond : BMO raises to outperform from market perform, raises target price to C$20 from C$17.50 on the de-risking of the company’s cash flows and its attractive forward valuation multiples
* Precision Drilling Corp : Canaccord Genuity cuts target price to C$10.50 from C$11 citing the company’s better-than-expected first-quarter results inspite of lower industry-wide activity levels
* Shoppers Drug Mart Corp : CIBC raises price target to C$47 from C$45 citing the company’s rising comparable multiples and solid first-quarter earnings
* West Fraser Timber : Raymond James raises price target to C$105 from C$100 on the company’s higher-than-expected first-quarter results
* No major Canadian economic data is scheduled for release
* Major U.S. events and data includes Q1 GDP, Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment index and weekly index of economic activity