Aug 30 (Reuters) - Canadian stock index futures pointed to a flat to slightly higher open on Friday as geopolitical tensions surrounding Syria eased after the British Parliament voted against participating in any military action against the region.
* Optimism in the euro zone’s economy improved sharply in August but stubbornly high unemployment, in particular in the bloc’s weaker countries, highlighted the fissure separating the recovering north from the struggling south.
* Japan is escaping deflation, the government said as data showing rising prices, falling unemployment, higher incomes and factory activity gathering momentum pointed to an ongoing recovery in the world’s third-largest economy.
* U.S. oil and gas producer Apache Corp is selling a 33 percent stake in its Egypt oil and gas business for $3.1 billion to state-owned Chinese oil giant Sinopec Group, reducing its exposure in the country amid the recent political unrest.
* Salesforce.com Inc raised its fiscal 2014 sales outlook after reporting better-than-expected revenue and earnings on Thursday, reassuring jittery investors that the cloud software company will continue its red-hot growth.
* Canada stock futures traded up 0.04 percent
* U.S. stock futures , , were up around 0.15 percent to 0.26 percent
* European shares, were down
* Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB Index : 293.5067; fell 0.29 percent
* Gold futures : $1,395; fell 1.27 percent
* US crude : $108.19; fell 0.56 percent
* Brent crude : $115.12; fell 0.03 percent
* LME 3-month copper : $7,132; fell 0.29 percent
Following is a summary of research actions on Canadian companies reported by Reuters.
* Canadian Western Bank : CIBC raises target price to C$31 from C$30, says the loss suffered by the bank due to its exposure to severe flooding and hailstorms in Alberta were moderated by elevated securities gains as well as higher fee income due in part to gains from the sale of mortgages.
* Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce : National Bank Financial raises price target to C$86 from C$85 on valuation.
* Royal Bank of Canada : CIBC raises target price to C$72 from C$70 as the bank recorded strong third-quarter results.
* Toronto-Dominion Bank : CIBC raises target price to C$95 from C$91 following the bank’s better-than-expected third-quarter results.
* Major Canadian economic data includes GDP
* Major U.S. events and data includes personal income, personal consumption, Chicago PMI and Reuters/UMich sentiment