Sept 19 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index was set to open lower on Monday as fears of a Greek default prompted investors to seek refuge in traditional safe-haven assets such as gold.
* Canadian equity futures <0#SXF:> pointed to a lower open.
* U.S. stock index futures fell sharply as renewed fears of a Greek debt default prompted investors to book some of last week’s gains and turn to safer assets such as gold. [.N]
* European shares fell after a regional election defeat for German Chancellor Angela Merkel and a cancellation of a U.S. visit by Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou to chair a cabinet meeting raised investor concerns over the region’s debt crisis. [.EU]
* Asian markets were mostly down with Hang Seng Index hitting a 26-month low as heavy losses for Esprit Holdings Ltd and China Coal Energy led the index below its May 2010 trough. ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ 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, fell 0.50 percent in early trade.
* Brent crude oil slipped below $112 a barrel as Europe stumbled over attempts to solve the euro zone debt crisis, strengthening investor fears commodity demand growth may slow. [O/R]
* Gold prices rallied after European policy makers failed to soothe fears of Greek default and contagion to other euro zone countries, prompting investors to seek refuge in the precious metal. [GOL/]
* Copper prices slid to their lowest this year as investors focused on a possible slowdown in the global economy with major developed nations mired in sovereign debt issues. [MET/L]
* Agnico-Eagle Mines (AEM.TO): The gold miner said it will buy junior natural resource company Grayd Resource Corp GYD.V in a deal valued at about C$275 million to focus on early stage gold deposits and projects. [ID:nL3E7KJ1F4]
* Air Canada ACa.TO ACb.TO: Negotiators for Air Canada and its flight attendants’ union were racing on Sunday to reach a labor agreement, but both sides were readying for a strike that would start on Wednesday if talks fail. [ID:nS1E78H081]
Following is a summary of research actions on Canadian companies reported by Reuters. [RCH/CA]
* CounterPath Corp CCV.V: coverage started with outperform; price target C$2.50 at National Bank
* Gluskin Sheff + Associates Inc (GS.TO): price target cut to C$20.50 from C$21.50 at CIBC
* Orezone Gold Corp ORE.TO: coverage started with outperform; price target C$5.20 at National Bank
$1= $0.98 Canadian Reporting by Anil Kumar; Editing by Jeffrey Hodgson