Aug 23 (Reuters) - After posting its biggest daily percentage gain in two weeks in the previous session, Canada’s main stock index looked set to open flat to slightly lower on Friday even as upbeat UK and German economic data supported the global economic growth outlook.
* Broad-based domestic demand drove the strongest German quarterly expansion in more than a year between April and June, fuelling optimism Europe’s largest economy will outperform in 2013 and support the nascent euro zone recovery.
* A European Central Bank policymaker said he saw no reason for an interest rate cut now, while Germany’s finance minister said the ECB has made clear it will hike rates once the economy improves, suggesting the bank’s easing bias may be fading.
* Gap Inc on Thursday reported a higher second-quarter profit, helped by the sales gains at its namesake and Old Navy chains and online, leading the clothing retailer to raise its full year profit forecast and dividend.
* Autodesk Inc forecast third-quarter results below analysts’ estimates as it anticipates lower demand for its computer-aided design software used in construction, manufacturing and engineering industries.
* The April 2014 deadline for compensation claims against BP over its U.S. oil spill is almost certain to be extended, say both side of the legal settlement that governs payouts, possibly into 2015.
* Canada stock futures traded down 0.04 percent
* U.S. stock futures , , were mixed in the range of -0.01 percent to 0.1 percent
* European shares, were up
* Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB Index : 289.3849; rose 0.17 percent
* Gold futures : $1,375.2; rose 0.29 percent
* US crude : $105.12; rose 0.09 percent
* Brent crude : $110.36; rose 0.42 percent
* LME 3-month copper : $7,332; rose 0.16 percent
Following is a summary of research actions on Canadian companies reported by Reuters.
* Dorel Industries Inc : National Bank Financial raises target price to C$35 from C$33 after the company acquired a 70 percent interest in Caloi, a Brazilian manufacturer of bicycles and bicycle equipment; says it is a great growth opportunity.
* First Quantum Minerals Ltd : Nomura cuts to neutral from buy, says the company is a long-term growth standout, but rich valuation and high gearing and risk drives the downgrade.
* IC Potash Corp : Paradigm Capital cuts target price to C$1.50 from C$2.25, to reflect higher discount rate and capex due to the challenging financing environment.
* Major Canadian economic data includes inflation data
* Major U.S. events and data includes new home sales