Feb 2 (Reuters) - Canadian stock index futures pointed to a slightly higher open on Wednesday, buoyed by surging copper and Brent crude prices.
* Canadian equity futures <0#SXF:> pointed to a higher open.
* U.S. stock index futures were little changed, a day after the Dow and S&P advanced to their highest close in about two years as investors looked ahead to new data on the labor market. [.N]
* European shares edged higher, with miners boosted by confidence in the pace of economic recovery, though gains were tempered by falls in industrials after results from Scania SCVb.ST and Sandvik. [.EU]
* Asian markets climbed with Japan’s Nikkei index rising 1.8 percent -- its biggest one-day advance in around two months.
* The Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB index .CRB, a global commodities benchmark, rose 0.21 percent in early trade.
* Oil rose with North Sea Brent crude futures near a 28-month high on concerns that unrest in Egypt would trigger regime changes across the Middle East and North Africa, source of more than a third of the world’s oil. [O/R]
* Gold prices eased in Europe after well-received U.S. economic data and a spate of upbeat corporate earnings deflected interest away from bullion on to higher-risk, higher-yielding assets. [GOL/]
* Copper surged to record highs, within a whisker of the key psychological $10,000 level as investors scrambled to buy the metal ahead of expected supply shortages and market deficits. [MET/L]
* ATS Automation Tooling Systems Inc. (ATA.TO): The company, which makes factory automation systems and solar energy equipment, posted a surprise third-quarter loss, hurt mainly by weakness at its Photowatt France segment. [ID:nSGE711074]
* Genworth MI Canada Inc. (MIC.TO): The company’s fourth-quarter profit fell as new delinquencies rose due to a soft housing market. [ID:nSGE7110AE]
* First Quantum Minerals (FM.TO): The company plans to raise annual output at Zambia’s largest copper mine to 400,000 tonnes by 2015 from 250,000 tonnes, a senior manager in Zambia said on Wednesday. [ID:nLDE7110QM]
* Suncor Energy Inc. (SU.TO): The energy company, on Wednesday said fourth-quarter profit almost tripled, helped by improved margins and higher refined product sales. [ID:nN01139180]
* Maple Leaf Foods (MFI.TO): The food processing company said on Tuesday it will close its prepared meats plant in Surrey, British Columbia, as it carries out a plan to close some facilities and modernize others to compete with U.S. rivals. [ID:nN01117026]
* North American Energy Partners (NOA.TO): The energy services firm’s third-quarter income plummeted, as rental costs for unused equipment pressured margins, and the company forecast markets to remain challenging for the year. [ID:nSGE70U0DK]
Following is a summary of research actions on Canadian companies reported by Reuters: [RCH/CA]
* Andean American Gold AAG.V price target cut by C$0.20 to C$1.80; rating sector outperform at Haywood;
* Bombardier (BBDb.TO) price target raised to C$7 from C$6.50; rating buy at UBS;
* Cequence Energy (CQE.TO) target price raised to C$3.25 from C$2.25; rating outperform at Raymond James;
* Detour Gold (DGC.TO) price target raised to C$42 from C$41 at Canaccord Genuity;
* Jaguar Mining (JAG.TO) price target cut to C$6.50 from C$7.50; rating hold at Td Newcrest;
* Penn West Petroleum PWT.TO rating cut to neutral from buy at UBS;
* Surge Energy SGY.V coverage started with buy rating; C$11.50 target price at Jacob Securities;
* Suroco Energy SRN.V target price raised to C$1.25 from C$0.90; rating outperform at Raymond James.
($1= $0.98 Canadian)
Reporting by Kishan Nair and Bangalore Newsroom