Toronto stock index set for mixed opening

Thu Aug 7, 2008 9:06am EDT
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*TSX could get a boost from oil and gold prices

*U.S. results, jobless claims may weigh on index

*Canadian Natural may be in focus after results

TORONTO, Aug 7 (Reuters) - The Toronto Stock Exchange's main index was set to open mixed on Thursday, on firmness in oil and gold prices and as big names like Canadian Natural Resources CNQ.TO reported quarterly results.

The price of oil rose to around $121 a barrel, while the gold price also firmed.

The commodity-related groups had provided the main impetus for big gains on Wednesday, as investors returned to stocks that were battered earlier this week.

"I think energy will be a very strong influence," said Joe Ismail, technical analyst at Maison Placements Canada.

"The senior oil stocks have sort of sold off very quickly. they are at a comfortable zone where I can see bargain-hunters sneaking in, picking up and choosing."

He said firmness in gold may support the index.   Continued...