CANADA STOCKS-Toronto index may open higher as oil rallies

Wed Jan 7, 2009 8:18am EST
 
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TORONTO Jan 7 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index may open higher on Wednesday and extend its winning streak to a seventh session as the resource-heavy index could receive another boost from higher oil prices.

The price of oil neared $49 a barrel, comfortably off last month's low of $32.40, helped in part by escalation of the Ukraine-Russia price dispute that has choked off gas supplies.

But gains on the overall Toronto market could be minimal and short lived as the lack of any significant domestic news could see the index influenced by U.S. markets, which are pegged to open lower given news that Alcoa Inc (AA.N: Quote) will cut more than 15,000 jobs as it reduces aluminum production.

The S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE is coming off its sixth straight rising session, with Tuesday's gain powered by its three biggest sectors -- energy, materials and financials.

Toronto's main index has rallied 13.9 percent over the past two weeks and is 23.8 percent above its five-year low hit in November.

Here is some of the news that may affect the market:

OIL CLIMBS TOWARDS $49, GAS PRICE ROW SUPPORTS

Oil climbed towards $49 a barrel on Wednesday, drawing support from cold weather and an escalation in the Ukraine-Russia dispute that has choked off natural gas supplies and increased demand for oil products. [ID:nL7335836]

GOLD STEADIES, SUPPORTED BY U.S. DOLLAR   Continued...