Mar 1 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index looked set to open lower on Friday, as Canada's biggest trading partner failed to strike a deal to avoid automatic spending cuts.
* The U.S. government hurtled toward making deep spending cuts that threaten to hinder the nation's economic recovery, after Republicans and Democrats failed to agree on an alternative deficit-reduction plan.
* European manufacturing appeared no closer to recovery last month while growth in Asia cooled, according to business surveys and trade data that pointed to ongoing weakness in global demand.
* Auto parts maker Magna International Inc reported a 12.5 percent rise in profit on strong performance in its North American business, and raised its full-year sales forecast.
* North Sea-focused Ithaca Energy Inc said it would acquire Valiant Petroleum Plc for 203 million pounds in cash and shares.
* National Bank of Canada, the country's sixth-largest lender, on Thursday said its first-quarter profit rose 3.7 percent due largely to improved wealth management income.
* Canada stock futures traded down 0.62 percent
* U.S. stock futures , , were down around 0.41 percent to 0.50 percent
* European shares, were up
COMMODITY PRICE MOVES
* Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB Index : 291.5083; fell 0.66 percent
* Gold futures : $1,570.2; fell 0.48 percent
* US crude : $90.8; fell 1.36 percent
* Brent crude : $110.48; fell 0.81 percent
* LME 3-month copper : $7,678; fell 1.75 percent
CANADIAN STOCKS TO WATCH
* Royal Bank of Canada : The bank is seeking ways to re-enter U.S. consumer banking just two years after it took a C$1.6 billion loss from the sale of its money-losing U.S. retail bank network.
* Turquoise Hill Resources : Rio Tinto said it had failed to resolve cost disputes with Mongolia over the $6.2 billion Oyu Tolgoi copper and gold mine in talks this week but the two sides agreed on a temporary budget to keep the mine on track to start producing in June.
Following is a summary of research actions on Canadian companies reported by Reuters.
* MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd : CIBC raises price target to C$78 from C$72, says the company is well-positioned to grow in the long term with a solid backlog.
* New Gold Inc : RBC cuts target price to $12 from $14 citing lower valuation.
* Pengrowth Energy Corp : Canaccord Genuity cuts target price to C$7.50 from C$8 on valuation, after the company reported in-line fourth-quarter results.
* Royal Bank of Canada : CIBC raises price target to C$70 from C$68 after the bank reported better-than-expected first-quarter results and increased its dividend.
* Toronto-Dominion Bank : CIBC raises price target to C$91 from C$89 after the company posted strong first-quarter results.
ON THE CALENDAR
* Major Canadian economic data includes GDP and RBC manufacturing PMI.
* Major U.S. events and data includes Personal income, inflation data, Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan sentiment index, auto sales data and manufacturing data.