CANADA STOCKS-TSX may slip on resources, eye on insurers

Thu Nov 5, 2009 8:35am EST
 
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 TORONTO, Nov 5 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index may
open lower as softer prices for key commodities oil and gold
may put pressure on the resource-heavy index.
 But company results could also influence, particularly as
three of the country's big insurers -- Manulife MFC.TO, Sun
Life  SLF.TO and Great-West Lifco GWO.TO -- publish
third-quarter results.
 While complex provisions and one-time items are expected in
the quarterly earnings of the life insurers, the bottom line is
that they will stay profitable and their dividends appear
safe.
 The S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE hit a one-week high
on Wednesday, spurred by strength in energy prices and a record
bullion price. It finished up 45.30 points, or 0.41 percent, at
11,071.20.
 Here is some of the news that may affect the market.
 SUNLIFE
 Sun Life Financial Inc reported a net loss, due mostly to a
change to the assumptions it uses to value its books, but cited
underlying strength as it maintained its dividend payout.
[ID:nN04548767]
 CANADIAN NATURAL RESOURCES
 Third-quarter profit at Canadian Natural Resources CNQ.TO
Ltd fell 77 percent as oil and gas prices plunged, Canada's No.
2 independent oil explorer said. [ID:nBNG522815]
 AGRIUM
 Canada's Agrium Inc AGU.TO again sweetened its hostile
bid for U.S. rival CF Industries CF.N, the latest twist in a
three-way takeover battle in the fertilizer sector.
[ID:nN0599370]
 BIOVAIL
 Biovail Corp BVF.TO reported a lower third-quarter profit
despite growing revenue, as restructuring charges hurt Canada's
biggest publicly traded pharmaceutical company. [ID:nN0599081]
 COMPANY RESULTS IN BRIEF
 * Manitoba Telecom MBT.TO Q3 results [ID:nWNAB0761]
 * Quebecor Inc QBRa.TO Q3 results [ID:nWNAB0758]
 * Canaccord Capital CCI.TO posts Q2 profit
[ID:nBNG195674]
 * Imax IMX.TO reports Q3 results [ID:nWNAB0868]
 COMMODITY PRICES: OIL, GOLD SLIP 
 A firmer U.S. dollar pushed oil below $80 a barrel and gold
prices retreated from the record highs they hit in the previous
session. [O/R] [GOL/]
 RESEARCH IN MOTION
 BlackBerry maker Research In Motion Ltd RIM.TO RIMM.O
said its board authorized a share buyback of up to $1.2
billion. [ID:nBNG285489]
 RESEARCH ROUNDUP
 The following is a selection of research actions on
Canadian companies reported by Reuters on Thursday.
For more, please double click [RCH/CA]:
 * Credit Suisse cuts Industrial Alliance to "neutral" from
"outperform", while Genuity raises to "buy" from "hold"
 * Blackmont, Genuity raise price target for Iamgold
 ($1=$1.06 Canadian)
 (Reporting by Ka Yan Ng; Editing by Theodore d'Afflisio)