Aug 13 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index looked set to open lower on Friday after fresh data suggested economic growth in the United States, Canada’s largest export market, remains tepid,
* Canadian equity futures <0#SXF:> pointed to a lower open.
* U.S. stock index futures briefly extended losses after data showed retail sales rose in July, but gains were concentrated in auto and gas station sales, suggesting the momentum in consumer spending remained tame. [.N]
* European shares turned negative, as falls in retailers outweighed gains in the miners.
* Most markets rose in Asia with the Australian index bouncing higher after three days of heavy losses and Nikkei inched up drawing support from an apparent halt in the yen’s advance against the dollar.
* The Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB index .CRB, a global commodities benchmark, rose 0.08 percent in early trade.
* Oil hovered near $76 a barrel after a three-day price slide as robust euro zone growth data was partly eclipsed by lingering doubts on the outlook for global fuel demand after equities turned negative. [O/R]
* Gold climbed to a one-month high in Europe on Friday, extending the previous session’s rise, as investors spooked by a raft of disappointing U.S. economic data turned to the metal as a safe store of value. [GOL/]
* Copper reversed earlier gains on Friday, after the euro tumbled versus the dollar and European equities turned negative as the market awaited key U.S. data for more clues about the health of world’s biggest economy. [MET/L]
* Research In Motion RIM.TO RIMM.O. The maker of BlackBerry smartphones has assured India of giving access to its messenger service and is working to address the government’s security worries, a senior security official said on Friday. [ID:nBMA008250]
* Cameco Corp (CCO.TO). The top Canadian uranium producer reported a weaker second-quarter operating profit on Friday, as results were hurt by lower uranium sales volumes and a lower realized uranium selling price. [ID:nN05169592]
* Loblaw Cos (L.TO). Canada’s biggest grocery store chain said on Thursday it will close its Halifax distribution center in Nova Scotia by Oct. 9, to reduce excess capacity in the Atlantic region. [ID:nSGE67B0NS]
* Alimentation Couche-Tard (ATDb.TO). Casey’s General Stores (CASY.O), the U.S. convenience store chain fighting a hostile takeover bid from Canada’s Alimentation Couche-Tard, urged shareholders on Thursday to vote against an attempt by Couche-Tard to gain influence over its board of directors. [ID:nN1263190 ]
* Enbridge Inc (ENB.TO). The company has not been forced to ration oil shipments on its North American pipeline system because of its Michigan oil spill, a company executive said on Thursday. [ID:nN12132779]
* Petrobank Energy and Resources Ltd PBG.TO. The company, which owns 58 percent of PetroBakken Energy PBN.TO, said its second-quarter net income rose 18 percent on higher oil and gas revenue and named a new chief financial officer. [ID:nSGE67C07W]
* Bankers Petroleum Ltd BNK.TO. The company, which operates oilfields in Albania, reported a quarterly profit as average oil production rose 54 percent. [ID:nSGE67C0F1]
* Caza Oil & Gas CAZ.TOCAZA.L. The company said on Friday it made a potentially significant discovery of natural gas and condensate at a well in Texas. [ID:nSGE67C089]
* Taseko Mines Ltd (TKO.TO). The company said second-quarter profit rose, partly helped by higher metal prices. [ID:nSGE67B0OQ]
* Great Canadian Gaming Corp (GC.TO). The operator of casinos and thoroughbred racetracks, posted a 55 percent rise in quarterly profit, beating market estimates, boosted by strong performance of its flagship River Rock Casino Resort. [ID:nSGE67B0O1]
* Kingsway Financial Services Inc (KFS.TO). The Canadian property and casualty insurer reported a narrower quarterly loss, helped by higher investment income. [ID:nSGE67C0D9]
* Black Diamond Group’s (BDI.TO). The company, which rents modular structures and provides energy services, reported 16 percent drop in quarterly profit, but forecast higher revenue and stronger margins in the third quarter. [ID:nSGE67B0NW]
Following is a summary of research actions on Canadian companies reported by Reuters. [RCH/CA]
* Aurizon Mines (ARZ.TO) target price raised to C$7 from C$6; rating market perform at Raymond James
* Azure Dynamics AZD.TO target price raised to C$0.45 from C$0.40; rating outperform at Raymond James
* Finning International (FTT.TO) target price raised to C$26 from C$21; rating outperform at Raymond James
* H&R REIT (HR_u.TO) target price raised to C$19.50 from C$18.50; rating outperform at Raymond James
* Zargon Energy ZAR_u.TO rating raised to outperform from market perform at Raymond James
$1=$1.05 Canadian Reporting by Bangalore newsroom, editing by Bhaswati Mukhopadhyay and Jeffrey Hodgson