Aug 19 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index looked set to open lower on Friday, extending the previous day’s losses, on worries about global growth and expectations that the Bank of Canada will cut its short-term forecast for the economy.
* Canadian equity futures <0#SXF:> pointed to a lower open.
* Canada’s dollar edged higher against the U.S. currency, though was still weaker on the day, after data showed Canada’s annual inflation rate eased in July. [CAD/]
* Bank of Canada Governor Mark will appear before a Parliamentary committee at 10 a.m. EDT (1400 GMT). He is expected to cut the central bank’s short-term growth forecast and provide more details about when interest rates might move.
* Finance Minister Jim Flaherty will also testify to the committee starting at 9 a.m.
* Mounting concern the U.S. economy may slip back into recession hobbled stock index futures, a day after the S&P 500 lost 4.5 percent. [.N]
* European shares approached two-year lows, extending the previous session’s plunge, on fears that major economies are heading for recession and that policymakers have no answer to the euro zone debt crisis. [.EU]
* Markets in Asia were also in red with the Nikkei shedding 2.1 percent for a third day of declines, while Korea’s KOSPI tumbled over 6 percent and Taiwan down almost 4 percent, suggesting the pressure was more on markets with a higher exposure to technology. ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ 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, fell 0.07 percent in early trade.
* Brent crude fell towards $106, extending the previous session’s plunge after weak economic data added to expectations the world would head back into recession and oil demand could shrink. [O/R]
* Gold prices rallied more than 2 percent to a record high as investors sought refuge from a second day of hefty losses on the stock markets, hurt by deepening concerns over slowing economic growth and the outlook for euro zone banks. [GOL/]
* Copper steadied, pausing for breath after the previous session’s hefty falls, although growing concerns about a slowdown in the United States and a debt crisis in Europe weighed on sentiment and capped further gains for the metal. [MET/L]
* Absolute Software (ABT.TO): The provider of data protection services posted a fourth-quarter net income helped by improved demand for its anti-theft product line, and forecast sales contracts in 2012 to grow above this year’s levels. [ID:nL3E7JI46F]
Following is a summary of research actions on Canadian companies reported by Reuters. [RCH/CA]
* TD Bank (TD.TO) added to NBF action list at National Bank ($1= $0.99 Canadian) (Reporting by Shrutee Sarkar; Editing by Frank McGurty)