Aug 21 (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index looked set to open higher as markets remain optimistic that strategy being drawn up by the European Central Bank would help tackle the region’s debt crisis.
* China’s leading offshore oil producer CNOOC Ltd said its first-half net profit fell by almost a fifth - twice as much as the market had expected - and it cut its dividend by 40 percent to make room for its $15.1 billion acquisition of Canadian oil firm Nexen Inc.
* Glencore’s $30 billion bid for miner Xstrata is not a “must-do deal” its chief executive said, in the company’s strongest suggestion yet that it will not yield to key shareholder Qatar’s demands for an improved offer.
* Spain’s short-term borrowing costs dropped at auction as investors bet the European Central Bank will intervene on bond markets, but a lack of detail over when and how it will act meant yields remained punishingly high.
* Britain’s government finances veered further off track in July after a shortfall in corporation tax revenues and higher spending led to an unexpected deficit in a month that normally has strong tax receipts.
* Japan’s Elpida Memory, which failed earlier this year, said it had submitted a restructuring plan to the Tokyo District Court, as expected following its agreement to be bought by U.S. chipmaker Micron Technology Inc.
* Canada stock futures traded up 0.2 percent
* U.S. stock futures , , were up around 0.2 to 0.3 percent
* European shares, were up
* Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB Index : 306.25; rose 0.49 percent
* Gold futures : $1,624.9; rose 0.3 percent
* US crude : $96.68; rose 0.74 percent
* Brent crude : $114.49; rose 0.69 percent
* LME 3-month copper : $7,546.5; rose 1.21 percent
* Heritage Oil : The company will sell part of a gas block and borrow money from Genel Energy Plc to raise $450 million, easing concerns about how it will fund oilfield purchases in Nigeria.
Following is a summary of research actions on Canadian companies reported by Reuters.
* Encana : SogGen cuts to sell from hold
* Enerplus : CIBC ups target to C$15 from C$14.50 after the company sold 8 percent stake in Laricina for C$141 million
* Franco-Nevada : RBC cuts to sector perform from outperform, says the agreement on Inmet’s Cobre Panama project is unlikely to give near-term cash flows
* Pershimco Resources : NBF starts with sectorperform and a price target C$1.00 to reflect the junior gold developer stage of the company which may take time to catch up with valuation
* Pure Energy Services : Canaccord Genuity cuts to hold from buy, says the company’s share price of C$10.93 after acquisition by FMC Technologies, results in limited upside to the C$11.00 target price
* Major Canadian economic data includes wholesale trade
* Major U.S. events and data includes Redbook chain store sales