Dec 31 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index is expected to open little changed on Friday, with low volumes ahead of the holiday weekend discouraging big moves.
* Canadian equity futures <0#SXF:> pointed to a slightly softer open.
* U.S. stock index futures were little changed on Friday, the last trading day of the year, with the S&P on track for a yearly advance of nearly 13 percent and its best December performance in nearly two decades. [.N]
* European shares were on track to post a 7.5 percent gain for 2010, although trading volumes dwindled by midday as several markets were closed for the year. [.EU]
* Most Asian stock markets ended the year with solid annual gains, but worries about the U.S. economy and Europe’s festering debt crisis will keep investors on edge well into the new-year.
* The Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB index .CRB, a global commodities benchmark, rose 0.33 percent in early trade.
* Oil was set to close the year up more than 12 percent, despite a slight decline, due to a resurgence in global demand, an unusually cold winter and falling inventories. [O/R]
* Gold rose on Friday, notching up its strongest annual performance since 2007 and marking a fifth straight month of gains in December, driven by a weaker dollar and global economic uncertainty. [GOL/]
* Copper hit a new record in Europe as rock solid demand and supply prospects for the year ahead combined with a weaker dollar. [MET/L]
* Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS.TO): VietinBank, Vietnam’s top partly private lender by assets, aims to conclude talks to sell a 15 percent stake to the bank in the second quarter of 2011, a state-run newspaper said on Friday. [ID:nHAN232194]
Following is a summary of research actions on Canadian companies reported by Reuters. [RCH/CA]
* Coro Mining Corp (COP.TO) price target raised to C$1.75 from C$0.80; maintains strong buy rating at Raymond James
$1= $1.00 Canadian Reporting by Kishan Nair and Bangalore Newsroom; editing by Jeffrey Hodgson