Nov 29 (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index looked set to open higher on Tuesday, building on gains from the previous session, as news from Europe continued to dominate markets.
Hopes that euro zone policymakers are to agree on the details of bolstering their bailout fund helped offset a batch of bearish ratings from agencies that signaled possible downgrades to France’s top-notch rating and to subordinated debt of 87 European banks. [ID:nL4E7MT03T]
* Canadian equity futures <0#SXF:> pointed to a higher open.
* U.S. stock index futures rose on investor relief over a well-received Italian bond auction that showed the highly indebted country still had access to capital markets. [.N]
* European shares rose as short-term traders helped boost the market following good demand at an Italian bond auction despite soaring borrowing costs, while BASF rose after lifting its sales target. [.EU] ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ To receive an early e-mail of Reuters Morning News Call - Canada — a preview of market moving news — Thomson Reuters subscribers can register at [CA/MNC] ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
* The Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB index .CRB, a global commodities benchmark, rose 0.01 percent in early trade.
* Oil pushed above $110 a barrel after Italy successfully completed a closely-watched bond auction, which boosted investor confidence, lifting European stocks and the euro to a session high. [O/R]
* Gold steadied after posting its second-largest one-day gain of the month the previous day, boosted by a stronger euro and a recovery in risk assets such as stocks, with which gold is trading more closely than at any time in the last year. [GOL/]
* Copper steadied on caution ahead of a meeting of Euro zone finance ministers to shore up their bailout fund, while a successful Italian government bond auction and ongoing supply constraints calmed sentiment and contained losses. [MET/L]
* Nexen Inc NXY.TO: The oil producer said it would sell 40 percent stake in its northeast British Columbia assets for C$700 million to a consortium led by Japan’s Inpex Corp. [ID:nL4E7MT1OF]
* Parallel Energy Trust PLT_u.TO: The oil and gas producer projected a 33-39 percent increase in production for 2012 and budgeted $16.5 million in capital expenditures for drilling and infrastructure. [ID:nL4E7MS2CY]
* Canfor Corp. (CFP.TO): The company said it will buy Canadian forest products peer Tembec Inc’s TMB.TO southern British Columbia interior wood products assets for about C$60 million. [ID:nL4E7MS2CK]
* Research In Motion RIM.TO: The BlackBerry maker is seeking to cash in as companies switch to rival smartphones with a new tool that offers some of its important security features for sexier devices like the iPhone. [ID:nT5E7MN00U]
* Seabridge Gold Inc. (SEA.TO): The company said drilling at its Courageous Lake project in Canada’s Northwest Territories showed significant expansion of a gold zone that could more than quadruple the zone’s contribution to measured and indicated resources. [ID:nL4E7MT1SL]
Following is a summary of research actions on Canadian companies reported by Reuters. [RCH/CA]
* Air Canada ACa.TO price target cut to C$2.50 from C$3 at Citigroup
* Keegan Resources Inc KGN.TO price target cut to C$10 from C$12 at CIBC
* Canmarc REIT CMQ_u.TO rating cut to sector performer from sector outperformer; price target raised to C$16.50 from C$14.50 at CIBC
* Mediagrif Interactive (MDF.TO) rating cut to sector perform from outperform at National Bank
$1= $1.02 Canadian Reporting By Chandra Ramarathnam; Editing by Jeffrey Hodgson