Nov 20 (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index looked set to open lower on Wednesday, as investors await a flurry of U.S. economic data and the Federal Reserve’s October minutes, which could provide further clues on the monetary stimulus program. TOP STORIES
* Britain’s economy is in a sustained recovery but there are no major inflation risks and the Bank of England will be in no rush to raise interest rates, minutes of the central bank’s November policy meeting showed.
* The Bank of Japan is expected to maintain its ultra-loose monetary policy on Thursday and debate how weak exports and swinging expectations on when the U.S. Federal Reserve will cut its stimulus may affect Japan’s recovery.
* Home improvement chain Lowe’s Cos reported a rise in quarterly profit and raised its outlook for this year as U.S. homeowners spent more on their homes.
* Deere & Co reported higher-than-expected fourth-quarter profit, lifted by strong sales of its tractors and harvesters, and forecast 2014 earnings that topped estimates.
* A unit of Johnson & Johnson has agreed to pay an estimated $2.5 billion to settle thousands of lawsuits from individuals allegedly injured by the company’s artificial hip implants, the company announced Tuesday.MARKET SNAPSHOT
* Canada stock futures traded down 0.13 percent
* U.S. stock futures , , were down around 0.1 percent to 0.03 percent
* European shares, were down COMMODITY PRICE MOVES
* Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB Index : 273.4494; rose 0.15 percent
* Gold futures : $1,269; fell 0.35 percent
* US crude : $93.3; fell 0.04 percent
* Brent crude : $106.64; fell 0.26 percent
* LME 3-month copper : $6,966.25; fell 0.05 percent ANALYSTS’ RECOMMENDATIONS
Following is a summary of research actions on Canadian companies reported by Reuters.
* Alimentation Couche-Tard : Canaccord Genuity raises target price to C$79 from C$69 on valuation, says the shares remain attractively valued at current levels
* Coastal Energy Co : Canaccord Genuity cuts rating to sell from buy, says CEPSA’s proposed acquisition of the company will close at C$19 per share as it has a limited chance of being presented with a higher offer
* Fortress Paper Ltd : CIBC cuts to sector underperform from sector outperformer, believes operational improvements will be seen at Thurso in coming months, but the Chinese duty imposition drains the equity upside in the company ON THE CALENDAR
* Major Canadian economic data includes wholesale trade
* Major U.S. events and data includes retail sales, consumer price index and home sales data and Fed October minutes