March 14 (Reuters) - Canadian stock index futures pointed to a lower open on Friday on heightened tensions ahead of Ukraine’s weekend referendum in Crimea.
* Heightened tensions ahead of Ukraine’s weekend referendum in Crimea and stresses over China’s growth pushed world stocks to their lowest in a month on Friday and sent investors scurrying into safe-haven gold and bonds.
* The European Union has drawn up a list of 120-130 names of senior Russian officials who could be subjected to travel bans and asset freezes as part of EU sanctions, European officials told Reuters.
* Canadian housing prices rose by 0.3 percent in January, the biggest jump for 20 months, on strong gains in the western Prairie region, Statistics Canada said on Thursday.
* Manufacturing and oil and gas extraction boosted Canada’s industrial capacity use to 82.0 percent in the fourth quarter of 2013, up from 81.2 percent in the third quarter, Statistics Canada said on Thursday.
* Canada stock futures traded down 0.23 percent
* U.S. stock futures , , were flat to slightly higher
* European shares, were down
* Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB Index : 303.3866; rose 0.02 percent
* Gold futures : $1,369.8; fell 0.08 percent
* US crude : $98.68; rose 0.49 percent
* Brent crude : $107.6; rose 0.2 percent
* LME 3-month copper : $6,476.5; rose 0.96 percent
Following is a summary of research actions on Canadian companies reported by Reuters.
* Algonquin Power & Utilities Corp : CIBC starts with sector performer rating, says the company has been through a hyper growth phase in revenue, asset and EBITDA
* Black Diamond Group Ltd : CIBC raises target price to C$33 from C$32 after the company’s fourth-quarter results beat estimates
* Cervus Equipment Corp : CIBC cuts target price to C$24 from C$25 considering declining EBITDA margins in its fourth-quarter results and its expected flat sales of ag-equipment in 2014
* Empire Company Ltd : CIBC cuts target price to C$80 from C$83 after the company reported third-quarter results below estimates, sees a difficult 2014 for the retail industry
* Transat AT Inc : CIBC cuts target price to C$12.25 from C$14.50 on the company’s lower-than-expected first-quarter results and on the expectation of a weak second quarter
* No major Canadian data scheduled for release
* Major U.S. data includes producer price index and Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment