Sept 9 (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index looked set open lower on Monday, as positive Chinese economic data did little to offset uncertainties surrounding a possible U.S. strike in Syria and the timeline of the U.S. Federal Reserve’s monetary stimulus program. BlackBerry shares were firmer. TOP STORIES
* Muted inflation data added to a run of August figures suggesting the protracted slowdown in China’s economy may be bottoming out, helped by targeted support measures and signs of improved export demand.
* Japan’s economy expanded much faster than initially expected in the second quarter, adding to growing signs of a solid recovery taking hold and fortifying the case for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to proceed with a planned sales tax hike next year.
* Japan’s Suntory Beverage & Food Ltd is to buy GlaxoSmithKline Plc’s Lucozade and Ribena brands for 1.35 billion pounds to help it expand into new markets.
* U.S. bricks and mortar retailers are racing to catch up with e-commerce giant Amazon.com in fast-growing online sales.MARKET SNAPSHOT
* Canada stock futures traded down 0.08 percent
* U.S. stock futures , , were up around 0.21 percent to 0.53 percent
* European shares, were down COMMODITY PRICE MOVES
* Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB Index : 293.3472; fell 0.19 percent
* Gold futures : $1,387.9; rose 0.09 percent
* US crude : $110.03; fell 0.45 percent
* Brent crude : $114.54; fell 1.36 percent
* LME 3-month copper : $7,236; rose 1.06 percent CANADIAN STOCKS TO WATCH
* Bombardier Inc : The company’s new CSeries aircraft completed high-speed taxi trials on Friday as anticipation mounted that the narrow-body plane could make its inaugural flight within the next week or so.
* Romanian legislators are set to reject Gabriel Resources’s plan for Europe’s biggest open-cast gold mine in the Carpathians due to widespread opposition, Prime Minister Victor Ponta said.
* Oncolytics Biotech Inc said its cancer drug Reolysin reduced the size of tumors in 92 percent of lung cancer patients in a mid-stage trial. The company’s shares rose as much as 22 percent to $3.22 before the bell. ANALYSTS’ RECOMMENDATIONS
Following is a summary of research actions on Canadian companies reported by Reuters.
* Bird Construction Inc : Canaccord Genuity raises rating to buy from hold following the company’s announcement of new contract awards in the context of recent share price weakness
* Calfrac Well Services Ltd : Barclays starts with overweight rating and price target of C$45, says the company is well-positioned to capture incremental U.S. demand
* Canadian Energy Services & Technology Corp : National Bank Financial raises rating to outperform from sector perform and target price to C$20 from C$15.50, believes that the company offers a compelling value proposition given the current growth and that shares will continue to trend higher
* Teranga Gold Corporation : SocGen cuts target price to C$0.75 from C$0.85, says the company’s Oromin deal is progressing, but Bendon litigation is a risk ON THE CALENDAR
* Major Canadian economic data includes building permits
* Major U.S. events and data includes employment index and consumer credit