CANADA STOCKS-TSX may open lower; U.S. and Rome tensions weigh

Reuters

Sept 30 (Reuters) - Canadian stock index futures pointed toa lower open on Monday as a potential U.S. government shutdowncoupled with political tensions in Italy dragged investorsentiment lower.

TOP STORIES

* With a deadline to avert a federal government shutdownfast approaching, the U.S. Capitol was eerily quiet on Sunday asRepublicans and Democrats waited for the other side to blinkfirst and break the impasse over funding.

* Italy's president began talks on Sunday to pull thecountry out of a new political crisis, attempting to undercut amove by former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi to bring downthe government and force new elections seven months after thelast vote.

* Siemens is to shed 15,000 jobs over the next year, a thirdof them in Germany, as part of a 6 billion euro cost cuttingprogramme, a spokesman said on Sunday.

* Pacific Rubiales Energy Corp, Colombia's largestprivate oil company, said it will buy compatriot oil producerand 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 itsloss-making TV unit and cease production at two of its threeoverseas factories before the end of this fiscal year.

MARKET SNAPSHOT

* Canada stock futures traded down 0.72 percent

* U.S. stock futures , , were downaround 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

ANALYSTS' RECOMMENDATIONS

Following is a summary of research actions on Canadiancompanies reported by Reuters.

* Martinrea International Inc : Canaccord Genuitycuts to hold from buy and cuts target price to C$11.50 fromC$14.75 on outlook and management risk.

* Midas Gold Corp : RBC cuts target price to C$1.60from C$6 to reflect updated operating and project financingassumptions for Golden Meadows in the current weak gold priceenvironment.

* Orbit Garant Drilling Inc : CIBC cuts target priceto C$1.15 from C$1.70, says margins remain under pressure, withthe company operating primarily in a competitive Canadianmarket, exacerbated by fewer available drilling contracts.

* Westport Innovations Inc : JP Morgan cuts targetprice of its U.S. listed shares to $23 from $26 after managementannounced that it is looking to focus more on fuel systems fornatural gas applications and less on being a systems integrator.

ON THE CALENDAR

* Major Canadian economic data includes GDP, PPI and rawmaterials prices

* Major U.S. events and data includes Chicago PMI and DallasFed Manufacturing index

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