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July 18 (Reuters) - Toronto’s resource heavy main stock index looked set to open lower on Monday, as investors fled riskier assets on a confluence of debt concerns on both sides of the Atlantic, pushing safe-haven gold to a fresh high.
* Canadian equity futures <0#SXF:> pointed to a lower open.
* U.S. stock index futures were lower as the deadline for a U.S. debt deal neared with no resolution in sight and investors continued to fret over ongoing fiscal problems in Europe. [.N]
* European shares fell sharply, and were testing key technical lows, with the financial sector among the biggest fallers as long-awaited bank stress tests result served only to intensify worries about the regional debt crisis. [.EU]
* Markets in Asia were largely low eyeing for a resolution to a confluence of debt concerns on both sides of the Atlantic.
* The Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB index .CRB, a global commodities benchmark, fell 0.42 percent in early trade.
* Brent crude fell under $117 a barrel on growing fears of a sovereign debt default on either side of the Atlantic and on the possibility of another emergency stock release from the International Energy Agency [O/R]
* Gold prices rallied to record highs above $1,600 an ounce in Europe as investors spooked by the euro zone debt crisis and the threat of a U.S. default bought into the metal as a haven from risk. [GOL/]
* Copper was steady, but expected to come under pressure due to doubts about demand from top consumer China and the euro zone debt crisis. [MET/L]
* Finning International Inc. (FTT.TO): The company said the strike at its British Columbia unit would continue after the worker’s union rejected its wage agreement proposal. [ID:nL3E7IF3AD]
* Alange Energy Corp. ALE.V: The oil exploration company said it will effect a one-for-seven reverse split of its common shares to reduce volatility and to make the stock more attractive to institutional investors. [ID:nL3E7IF3AD]
Following is a summary of research actions on Canadian companies reported by Reuters. [RCH/CA]
* Crescent Point Energy (CPG.TO) price target raised to C$61 from C$59 at CIBC
* Hanfeng Evergreen HF.TO price target cut to C$4 from C$5 at CIBC
* Scott’s REIT SRQ_u.TO rating cut to underperform from sector perform;lowered price target to C$7 from C$8 at National Bank
$1= $0.96 Canadian Reporting by Karan Khemani; Editing by Jeffrey Hodgson