Feb 14 (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index looked set to extend an eight-day rally on Friday as investors took cheer from evidence of a gradual acceleration in euro zone growth and a resolution to Italy’s most recent political crisis.
* Slightly stronger-than-expected growth in Germany and France pushed the euro zone’s recovery up a gear in the fourth quarter and offered potential for a more robust 2014, albeit with risks.
* Italian centre-left leader Matteo Renzi forced party rival Enrico Letta to resign as prime minister on Thursday after criticizing his government’s failure to pass major reforms, opening the way for Italy’s third administration in a year.
* Enbridge Inc reported a fourth-quarter loss, mainly due to losses on hedging contracts.
* Fairfax Financial Corp said on Thursday it had a loss in the fourth quarter, as its equity hedges lost money in a strong market.
* West Fraser Timber Co Ltd reported a slight decline in adjusted fourth-quarter profit on Thursday as higher lumber prices were outweighed by reduced shipments.
* Canada stock futures traded up 0.1 percent
* U.S. stock futures , , were up around 0.05 to 0.22 percent
* European shares, were up
* Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB Index : 293.6852; rose 0.16 percent
* Gold futures : $1,317.3; rose 1.3 percent
* US crude : $100.11; fell 0.24 percent
* Brent crude : $108.42; fell 0.09 percent
* LME 3-month copper : $7,130.5; rose 0.29 percent
* Empire Co Ltd : The grocery chain Sobeys Inc, a unit of the company, said it would sell 30 stores - all but one to Overwaitea Food Group - for about C$430 million.
Following is a summary of research actions on Canadian companies reported by Reuters.
* Banro Corp : CIBC cuts to sector underperformer from sector performer, sees financing risk and operations yet to be stabilized
* Bombardier Inc : CIBC cuts target price to C$4.75 from C$5 based on the company’s unimpressive fourth-quarter results, CSeries delay, BT execution issues and weak business jet prices
* CI Financial Corp : CIBC raises price target to C$39 from C$36 says the company’s retail funds continue to build, management fee is gradually trending lower and sales momentum will continue in the year ahead
* Industrial Alliance Insurance : CIBC raises to sector outperformer citing strong fourth-quarter results
* Primero Mining Corp : CIBC raises target price to C$8 from C$7 considering largely in-line fourth-quarter results
* Major Canadian economic data include manufacturing sales
* Major U.S. events and data includes import prices, export prices, industrial output, Reuters and University of Michigan sentiment index