Toronto stocks seen up on results, U.S. jobs data

Fri May 2, 2008 9:03am EDT
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TORONTO May 2 (Reuters) - The Toronto Stock Exchange's main index was set to extend a two-day winning streak on Friday after good results from Agrium AGU.TO and Nortel Networks NT.TO, and as commodities edge higher.

After rising nearly 1 percent in the previous session, the Canadian benchmark index could also get a boost from U.S. employment data, which showed much fewer jobs were lost in April than analysts had expected.

The TSX has been pressured by worries over the economic health of the United States, Canada's biggest trading partner, but the jobs data gave a strong bounce to both European stocks and U.S. stock futures. For details, see: [nN01466992]

"Investors may take this as a sign the recession won't be as deep as feared, or in fact that we might not technically have a recession," said Michael Sprung, president at Sprung & Co. Investment Counsel.

"The initial reaction of the market will be positive."

Agrium will likely add to the updraft after the world's third-largest nitrogen producer swung to a profit, eclipsing analysts' expectations. See: [nN02506877]

Nortel, meanwhile, may also rise after the maker of telecommunications equipment reported higher revenues. However, traders may also focus on a series of one-time charges that weighed on the results. See: [nN02532803]

Among smaller corporations reporting quarterly results, lumber firm Canfor CFP.TO posted a wider loss. See: [nN02422192]

The resource-heavy S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE should also get support from commodities markets, where crude oil, natural gas and spot gold logged gains.

The index starts the day at 14,065.81 after advancing 128.77 points, or 0.9 percent, in the previous session. ($1=$1.02 Canadian) (Reporting by Jonathan Spicer; Editing by Scott Anderson)