July 7, 2008 / 1:08 PM / 9 years ago

Toronto stocks set to open mixed, slightly higher

*TSX expected to open mixed to slightly higher

*Commodities could weigh

TORONTO, July 7 (Reuters) - The Toronto Stock Exchange’s main index looked set for a mixed open on Monday, with resource issues see-sawing on weakness in commodities prices after a holiday-shortened week in the United States and Canada.

The oil price, key for the resource-heavy index, eased to around $143 a barrel as investors kept tabs on tensions over Iran’s nuclear program.

Other commodities, including gold and copper, slipped, which could pull the materials sector down.

The benchmark index could also take its lead from the U.S. markets, which are expected to slightly higher on lower oil prices following the July 4 holiday.

“You’ve got a little a bit selling or negative action on the commodity market right now,” said Bruce Latimer,

“You’re obviously going to see some weakness in some of those names in Canada.”

Economic woes and concerns over rising inflation helped trim 3.3 percent off the benchmark TSX index last week, while U.S. markets slipped into traditional bear territory, described as a 20 percent drop from peak levels.

In corporate news, Angiotech Pharmaceuticals Inc. ANP.TO said it plans to establish separate operating and royalty businesses.

Telecoms giant BCE Inc. (BCE.TO) could be in view after its stock closed up 12.8 percent after the company said its C$34.8 billion takeover by a group led by the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan would go ahead at the agreed C$42.75-per-share purchase price.

The S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE starts the day at 14,010.39 after retreating 133.18 points on Friday on softer commodity prices. ($1=$1.02 Canadian) (Reporting by Jennifer Kwan; editing by Janet Guttsman)

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