Toronto's main stock index futures pointed to a higher open after Chinese factory data came in less gloomy than feared, signaling further demand growth for Canadian-listed miners.

FACTORS TO WATCH

* Canadian equity futures pointed to a higher open.

* U.S. stock index futures rose sharply, tracking global equities that gained after gauges of Chinese and euro zone economic activity came in less gloomy than feared.

* Autos featured among recovering European stocks as Chinese data showed the world's second-biggest economy is still growing strongly and on investor hopes of a fresh round of U.S. quantitative easing.

* Asian markets were higher, with the Nikkei rising more than 1 percent, as investors picked up domestic-demand stocks such as food makers and paper firms.

COMMODITY PRICE MOVES

* The Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB index , a global commodities benchmark, rose 0.49 percent in early trade.

* Brent crude held steady, supported by better than expected manufacturing data in Germany and China and by uncertainty in Libya where government loyalists staged a fight back.

* Gold prices retreated more than 1 percent from record highs as a recovery in appetite for assets seen as higher risk, such as stocks, took the steam out of a rally that many saw as overdone above $1,900 an ounce.

* Copper rebounded, as investors welcomed with relief China PMI data showing that the world's second largest economy is slowing only slightly, keeping intact expectations of demand growth from the top metals consumer.

CANADIAN STOCKS TO WATCH * Bank of Montreal : The bank's third-quarter profit rose 18 percent due to stronger capital markets revenue and a recent acquisition, it said. * Cenovus Energy Inc : The company has started up the third phase of its Christina Lake oil sands project as part of its long-term expansion of steam-driven developments, it said on Monday. * Timmins Gold Corp : The miner said drilling at its open pit gold mine in Sonora, Mexico, showed that there were additional mineralized zones at the site.

ANALYST RECOMMENDATIONS

Following is a summary of research actions on Canadian companies reported by Reuters. * Bombardier Inc price target cut to C$6.80 from C$8.50; rating outperform at National Bank * Heroux Devtek Inc added to action list; keeps outperform rating and price target of C$12.50 at National Bank * HudBay Minerals Inc coverage started with outperform rating and price target of C$17.50 at National Bank