Sept 30 (Reuters) - Canadian stock index futures pointed to a lower open on Monday as a potential U.S. government shutdown coupled with political tensions in Italy dragged investor sentiment lower.
* With a deadline to avert a federal government shutdown fast approaching, the U.S. Capitol was eerily quiet on Sunday as Republicans and Democrats waited for the other side to blink first and break the impasse over funding.
* Italy's president began talks on Sunday to pull the country out of a new political crisis, attempting to undercut a move by former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi to bring down the government and force new elections seven months after the last vote.
* Siemens is to shed 15,000 jobs over the next year, a third of them in Germany, as part of a 6 billion euro cost cutting programme, a spokesman said on Sunday.
* Pacific Rubiales Energy Corp, Colombia's largest private oil company, said it will buy compatriot oil producer and explorer Petrominerales Ltd for C$1.6 billion, financing the deal with cash and loans.
* Toshiba Corp said it would cut 50 percent of staff in its loss-making TV unit and cease production at two of its three overseas factories before the end of this fiscal year.
* Canada stock futures traded down 0.72 percent
* U.S. stock futures , , were down around 0.93 percent to 0.76 percent
* European shares, were down
COMMODITY PRICE MOVES
* Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB Index : 286.3418; fell 0.42 percent
* Gold futures : $1,336.1; fell 0.17 percent
* US crude : $101.52; fell 1.31 percent
* Brent crude : $107.78; fell 0.78 percent
* LME 3-month copper : $7,291; fell 0.12 percent
Following is a summary of research actions on Canadian companies reported by Reuters.
* Martinrea International Inc : Canaccord Genuity cuts to hold from buy and cuts target price to C$11.50 from C$14.75 on outlook and management risk.
* Midas Gold Corp : RBC cuts target price to C$1.60 from C$6 to reflect updated operating and project financing assumptions for Golden Meadows in the current weak gold price environment.
* Orbit Garant Drilling Inc : CIBC cuts target price to C$1.15 from C$1.70, says margins remain under pressure, with the company operating primarily in a competitive Canadian market, exacerbated by fewer available drilling contracts.
* Westport Innovations Inc : JP Morgan cuts target price of its U.S. listed shares to $23 from $26 after management announced that it is looking to focus more on fuel systems for natural gas applications and less on being a systems integrator.
ON THE CALENDAR
* Major Canadian economic data includes GDP, PPI and raw materials prices
* Major U.S. events and data includes Chicago PMI and Dallas Fed Manufacturing index