CANADA STOCKS-TSX may see higher open, helped by oil

Wed Mar 4, 2009 8:27am EST
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TORONTO, March 4 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index could open higher on Wednesday, after touching a five-year low in the previous session, supported by firmness in the price of oil and base metals.

The Toronto market may follow along with world stocks, which fought back from multi-year lows as investors hunted for bargains after three days of steep losses. [nL4107311] U.S. stock index futures pointed higher. [ID:nL4875544]

On Tuesday, nagging credit quality worries pulled shares of Canadian banks lower, which helped to push the S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE down 55.89 points, or 0.73 percent, at 7,631.62.

Here is some news that could affect the market:


U.S. Hartford Financial Services Group Inc (HIG.N: Quote) is in talks to sell most of its life insurance unit to Canadian Sun Life Financial Inc, Bloomberg reported, citing three people with knowledge of the matter. [ID:nL468593]


The financials sector may see action after reports by two of Canada's largest banks -- Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS.TO: Quote) and Bank of Montreal (BMO.TO: Quote) -- showed the banks pushed through the global financial crisis to report profits on Tuesday, but also disclosed higher provisions for bad loans that point to tougher quarters ahead. [ID:nN03459519]

Laurentian Bank (LB.TO: Quote) is due to report quarterly results on Wednesday morning.   Continued...