Aug 22 (Reuters) - Canada’s benchmark stock index, dominated by resource shares, looked set to open lower on Wednesday after BHP Billiton Ltd delayed a $20 billion copper-mine expansion as the global outlook for demand grows more uncertain.
* Japan’s exports slumped the most in six months in July as shipments to Europe and China tumbled, adding to concerns over global demand after a string of dire trade figures from Asia’s export engines.
* Top global miner BHP Billiton delayed its planned $20 billion Olympic Dam copper expansion on Wednesday and said no major projects would be approved in the year to June 2013, as it battles escalating capital costs.
* Germany easily sold 4 billion euro of new interest-free two-year bonds on Wednesday, with investors edgy about European Central Bank plans to curb the debt crisis, though demand was below this year’s average.
* Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras starts a European charm offensive with talks to persuade euro zone chief Jean-Claude Juncker that the debt-laden nation has the will to ram through unpopular reforms and deserves more time to do it.
* U.S. authorities are investigating Royal Bank of Scotland over possible breaches of sanctions on Iran, as part of a crackdown in which Standard Chartered has already agreed to pay a heavy fine for transactions involving Tehran.
* Canada stock futures traded down 0.3 percent
* U.S. stock futures , , were down around 0.3 percent
* European shares, were down
* Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB Index : 307; fell 0.2 percent
* Gold futures : $1,641.7; rose 0.11 percent
* US crude : $96.56; fell 0.29 percent
* Brent crude : $113.91; fell 0.64 percent
* LME 3-month copper : $7,577.5; fell 0.43 percent
* Telus Corp. : The telecommunications provider proposed to revive its plan to unify its share structure by converting non-voting shares into common shares on a one-for-one basis.
Following is a summary of research actions on Canadian companies reported by Reuters.
* CGI Group Inc. : CIBC resumes coverage with sector outperformer rating and raises target to C$30 from C$25.5, says the closure of $2.7 billion Logica acquisition will double CGI’s revenues * EXFO Inc. : CIBC starts with sector underperformer rating and sets price target of $4 for its U.S.-listed shares citing higher budget spending in the first quarter * Painted Pony Petroleum Ltd. : CIBC raises price target to C$12.50 from C$12, after the company reported second-quarter cash flow per share above estimates
* Major Canadian economic data includes retail sales data
* Major U.S. events and data includes existing home sales and minutes of the latest Federal Reserve meeting