Sept 21 (Reuters) - Toronto’s resource-heavy stock market looked set to open higher on Tuesday ahead of a U.S. Federal Reserve meeting that might herald easier monetary policy, which could help boost commodity prices.
* Canadian equity futures <0#SXF:> pointed to a higher open.
* The Canadian dollar fell to a session low against the U.S. currency after Canada’s annual inflation rate in August slowed, suggesting the Bank of Canada may pause in its interest rate hiking campaign. [CAD/]
* U.S. stock index futures were slightly firmer with investors largely waiting to see if the Federal Reserve changes its monetary easing policy at a meeting later in the day. [.N]
* European shares were slightly higher by midday in choppy trading. [.EU]
* Most markets in Asia rose but Nikkei bucked the trend on profit-taking.
* The Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB index .CRB, global commodities benchmark, rose 0.15 percent in early trade.
* Oil fell towards $74 per barrel on concerns over the outlook for the global economy ahead of a key Federal Reserve meeting on U.S. monetary policy. [O/R]
* Gold steadied in Europe as the market consolidated after three days of record highs, but remained supported by speculation the Federal Reserve may signal a move towards further stimulus measures after a policy meeting later in the day. [GOL/]
* Copper steadied ahead of the U.S. Federal Reserve meeting that could herald an easier monetary policy, which could undermine the dollar and boost base metals. [MET/L]
* Potash Corp POT.TO: BHP Billiton’s $39 billion battle to take control of Potash is expected to drag on into next year after it failed to win immediate backing from Canadian authorities. [ID:nLDE68K038]
- China’s task of aligning interests in a potential consortium bid to rival BHP Billiton’s (BHP.AX) $39 billion offer for Potash Corp of Saskatchewan POT.N is growing more and more difficult. [DEALTALK/]
* Crescent Point Energy Corp (CPG.TO): The Calgary-based independent oil company boosted its capital spending budget for the year by 23 percent and raised its 2010 oil production estimate as it added new exploration lands in Alberta and Saskatchewan.[ID:nN20184561]
* Cenovus Energy Inc (CVE.TO): The Canada’s third-largest independent oil producer said on Monday it won approval to expand its Foster Creek oil sands operations, which will raise production at the facility by 75 percent at a cost likely to top C$1.8 billion. [ID:nSGE68J0JO]
* Ithaca Energy IAE.V: The oil and gas company said on Tuesday it received field development plan approval for the Athena oil field in the North Sea, allowing the company to begin production from the field in the third quarter of 2011. [ID:nSGE68K0BF]
Following is a summary of research actions on Canadian companies reported by Reuters. [RCH/CA]
* Crescent Point Energy (CPG.TO) price target cut to C$44 from C$44.50; rating outperform at Raymond James
$1=$1.03 Canadian Reporting by Bangalore newsroom and Ka Yan Ng; editing by Jeffrey Hodgson