Sept 5 (Reuters) - Canadian stock index futures pointed to a flat to slightly higher open on Thursday with investors reluctant to make big bets as tension over the risk of military action in Syria was offset by signs of a better global economic recovery.
* Russia and China warned that the end of the U.S. Federal Reserve’s bond-buying program could have a profound impact on the global economy and urged caution.
* The European Central Bank left interest rates unchanged on Thursday, and markets turned their attention to ECB chief Mario Draghi’s news conference for any signs a euro zone recovery will affect the bank’s policy stance.
* The Bank of Japan said the world’s third-largest economy is recovering and signaled it would increase its huge stimulus only if a planned sales tax hike was to threaten its goal of lifting inflation to 2 percent in two years.
* The Bank of England is expected to take a breather when it announces its latest policy decision after a hectic couple of months under new governor Mark Carney which has seen the economy show fresh signs of life.
* Costco Wholesale Corp’s August same-store sales pipped analyst estimates, even as lower fuel prices and weak foreign exchange rates weighed on the U.S. warehouse club retailer’s comparable sales.
* Canada stock futures traded up 0.05 percent
* U.S. stock futures , , were mixed around -0.07 percent to 0.1 percent
* European shares, were up
* Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB Index : 291.734; rose 0.2 percent
* Gold futures : $1,397.5; rose 0.55 percent
* US crude : $107.78; rose 0.51 percent
* Brent crude : $115.25; rose 0.3 percent
* LME 3-month copper : $7,140; rose 0.22 percent
* BlackBerry Ltd : The company ’s board hopes to run a “fast” auction process that could result in a sale of the company by November, the Wall Street Journal said, citing people familiar with the matter on Wednesday.
* Bombardier : The all-new Bombardier CSeries passenger jet is being readied for a long-awaited maiden flight as early this weekend, possibly on Sunday, two industry sources said.
Following is a summary of research actions on Canadian companies reported by Reuters.
* BRP Inc : RBC raises target price to C$32 from C$29, anticipates solid top-line growth for the company in the second quarter and continued growth for the full year, driven by product launches, share gains and margin improvement.
* Contrans Group Inc : BMO raises to outperform from market perform, says the company has been gaining new business and capturing market share at attractive pricing as shippers continue to seek financially sound carriers with strong service levels.
* Gluskin Sheff + Associates Inc : CIBC raises target price to C$21.50 from C$19 after the company announced a significantly higher-than-expected special dividend.
* Novus Energy Inc : CIBC raises price target to C$1.18 from C$1 after the company received a cash takeover bid from Yanchang Petroleum.
* TransForce Inc : BMO cuts rating to market perform, says it expects organic growth to remain challenging for most of the company’s businesses for the balance of 2013 and into 2014.
* No major Canadian economic data scheduled for the day
* Major U.S. events and data includes initial and continuing claims, ISM non-manufacturing, factory orders, durable goods, ADP national employment and Challenger layoffs