Oct 11 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index looked set to open higher on Thursday, on expectations that Spain would be pressured to seek a sovereign bailout after S&P downgraded it to just one notch above junk.
* Spain faced renewed pressure to take the politically humiliating step of seeking sovereign aid after a credit agency cut its rating to near junk, triggering a spike in its borrowing costs.
* The IMF backed giving debt-burdened Greece and Spain more time to reduce their budget deficits, cautioning that cutting too far, too fast would do more harm than good.
* Europe's two biggest aerospace firms BAE and EADS will go back to the drawing board to find new strategies after Germany stymied the world's biggest arms and aviation company merger.
* Japan's Softbank Corp is in talks to acquire a majority stake in Sprint Nextel, the No. 3 wireless carrier in the United States, for more than 1 trillion yen, a source familiar with the matter told Reuters.
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MARKET SNAPSHOT * Canada stock futures traded up 0.3 percent * U.S. stock futures , , were up around 0.24 percent to 0.48 percent * European shares , were up COMMODITY PRICE MOVES
* Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB Index : 307.99; rose 0.19 percent
* Gold futures : $1,768.5; rose 0.3 percent * US crude : $92.11; rose 0.94 percent * Brent crude : $115.1; rose 0.67 percent * LME 3-month copper : $8,213.75; rose 0.6 percent CANADIAN STOCKS TO WATCH
* Enbridge Inc. : The company needs to do a better job of communicating to most British Columbians and other Canadians the merits of its contentious Northern Gateway oil pipeline planned for the Western Canadian province, a senior company official said on Wednesday.
* Gasfrac Energy Services Inc. : The oil and gas technology services company said on Wednesday it expected its third-quarter revenue to be C$40 million, much below analysts' expectations, and said it had cut jobs to reduce costs. Analysts, on average, had expected revenue of C$58 million.
Following is a summary of research actions on Canadian companies reported by Reuters.
* Air Canada : CIBC raises target price to C$3 from C$1.50 on arbitration rulings in the company's favour and growth potential from the launch of its new low cost carrier in the second half of 2013
* Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. : CIBC raises target price to C$83 from C$82, says new initiatives like faster intermodal schedule, return of 3,200 rail cars show CEO Hunter making an early mark
* GLV Inc : National Bank Financial raises to outperform from sector perform, says debt levels appear manageable and the company could improve in the second quarter
* Ithaca Energy Inc. : CIBC cuts to sector performer rating on a disappointing operational update from its Athena project
* TriOil Resources Ltd. : Canaccord Genuity cuts target to C$5 from C$6.25, after the company issued 7.8 million Class A shares at $2.55 per share thereby leading to equity dilution
ON THE CALENDAR
* Major Canadian economic data includes new housing and exports and import data
* Major U.S. events and data includes import and export prices, international trade and initial claims
($1= $0.97 Canadian)
(Reporting by Chandrashekhar Modi; Editing by Jeffrey Hodgson)
Keywords: MARKETS CANADA/STOCKS