Toronto stocks seen testing high on rising oil

Fri Jun 6, 2008 9:20am EDT
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*Oil and other commodities are expected to lift TSX

*North America jobs data proves slightly disappointing

*TSX index expected to test record intraday high

TORONTO, June 6 (Reuters) - The Toronto Stock Exchange's main index was set to rise again on Friday, brushing off data showing a fifth straight month of U.S. job losses and hitching its fortunes on bullish oil and other hot commodities.

Following its biggest one-day gain since March, the resource-heavy Canadian benchmark could ride Thursday afternoon's momentum to a record intrday high.

Oil surged for a second straight day, still bullish after the signs the European Central Bank may raise interest rates this year, and after an Israeli minister said an attack on Iranian nuclear sites looked "unavoidable." See: [nSP280973]

Higher European rates would hit the U.S. dollar, which typically moves inversely to crude oil, while an attack on Iran would intensify supply concerns in the oil-rich Middle East.

TSX resource shares, which pushed the index nearly 2 percent higher on Thursday, could also get a lift from firm gas, gold and base metal prices such as aluminum and copper.

Meanwhile, Canadian job growth slowed more than expected last month in the biggest loss of full-time jobs since June 2006. A jump in part-time work helped the unemployment rate hold steady, but the data may spook stock investors looking for stable job growth. For details, see: [nN06309467]   Continued...