Dec 29 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index looked set to open higher on Wednesday, buoyed by firm oil, gold and copper prices and Nunavut Iron Ore’s increased bid for Baffinland Iron Mines BIM.TO.
* Canadian equity futures <0#SXF:> pointed to a higher open.
* U.S. stock index futures rose, indicating stocks were poised to extend a December rally as investors remained optimistic the global economic rebound will continue in 2011. [.N]
* European equities nudged higher in holiday-thinned trade, with heavyweight Skanska pushing construction shares to the top of the gainers’ list after saying it was selling its stake in a Chilean highway concession. [.EU]
* Asian shares rose, with Japan’s Nikkei maintaining a fourth quarter rally as investors hunted bargains in one of the developed world’s cheapest markets.
* Oil steadied near a two-year high above $91 a barrel ahead of U.S. inventory data expected to show a drawdown in crude and distillate stocks due to severe weather in the world’s largest oil user. [O/R]
* Gold steadied around two-week highs above $1,400 an ounce, closing in on a tenth consecutive yearly gain after another batch of U.S. data cast doubt on the economic outlook and weakened the dollar. [GOL/]
* Copper rose to just under record highs in Europe, catching up with U.S. prices following the Christmas break, while a rate rise in top consumer China failed to quell the metal’s record run. [MET/L]
* The Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB index .CRB, a global commodities benchmark, fell 0.26 percent in early trade.
* Nunavut Iron Ore said on Wednesday it was raising its bid for Baffinland Iron Mines BIM.TO to C$1.40 a share for 60 percent of the company’s shares, challenging ArcelorMittal’s ISPA.AS friendly bid of C$1.25 a share for all of the shares. [ID:nN29274403]
* Transition Therapeutics Inc. TTH.TO: The biopharmaceutical company on Monday said it will relinquish its 30 percent ownership of its experimental Alzheimer drug ELND005 to Irish drugmaker Elan Corp. [ID:nSGE6BQ02X]
$1= $1 Canadian Reporting by Kishan Nair and Bangalore Newsroom; Editing by Jeffrey Hodgson