Aug 22 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index looked set to open higher, rebounding from previous session’s sell-off, as hopes for an imminent end to the conflict in OPEC-member Libya signal a rally by Canadian energy shares.
* Canadian equity futures <0#SXF:> pointed to a higher open.
* U.S. stock index futures were higher following four weeks of equity losses as stocks rebounded globally, led by defensive shares. [.N]
* Investors flocked to beaten down oil stocks, helping lift Europe’s leading shares after a sharp retreat the previous week, while gold issues drew interest amid lingering worries about global growth. [.EU]
* Asian markets were lower with the Nikkei marking its weakest close since March 15 as worries about the U.S. economy offset signs that the Japanese authorities stand ready to quell any further yen strength. ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ 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, rose 0.38 percent in early trade.
* U.S. crude oil futures rose more than $1 a barrel as the dollar eased against a basket of currencies and as stock markets rose on hopes for a swift end to the conflict in Libya. [O/R]
* Gold prices rallied toward $1,900 an ounce as concerns over the global economic outlook fueled interest in the precious metal as a haven from risk and due to talk that weak U.S. growth could spark a further round of monetary easing. [GOL/]
* Copper dipped as growing concerns about a slowdown in the United States and the European debt crisis raised fears about the outlook for global growth and demand for metals, although a weak dollar capped the retreat. [MET/L]
CANADIAN STOCKS TO WATCH * Endeavour Mining Corp (EDV.TO): The gold miner agreed to buy Australia’s Adamus Resources in a deal valued at about C$313.4 million, to create a West Africa-focused gold producer. [ID:nL4E7JM1QM] * Mercator Minerals ML.TO: The mining company said it has modified a shareholder rights plan to bring it in line with current standards recommended by proxy advisory firm ISS. [ID:nL4E7JJ3PQ]
Following is a summary of research actions on Canadian companies reported by Reuters. [RCH/CA] * Altus Group (AIF.TO) price target cut to C$4 from C$9 at CIBC * Centric Health (CHH.TO) coverage started with outperform rating; price target of C$3 at National Bank ($1= $0.98 Canadian) (Reporting by Anil Kumar)