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TORONTO, April 8 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index could open lower on Thursday as oil prices decline for a second day, hurting the weighty energy sector, but losses may be offset by gold prices that are close to three-month highs.
The index could also follow global stocks and U.S. futures, which edged lower as relentless fears over Greece's public finances unsettled investors worried about sovereign debt defaults in Europe.
On the macro front, shares may extend losses after the number of U.S. workers filing new claims for unemployment insurance rose unexpectedly last week.
Toronto's main stock index ended lower for a second straight session on Wednesday, pulled down in a broad selloff that was led by the energy group.
Here is some news that could affect stock prices:
Oil slipped for a second day on towards $85 a barrel, pressured by a stronger dollar and a rise in U.S. crude stockpiles to their highest level in nearly 10 months. [O/R]
Gold steadied in Europe close to the near three-month highs it hit in the previous session, as the dollar's rise versus the euro capped gains in the precious metal. [GOL/]
Copper dropped to a one-week low in the absence of fresh impetus to keep its rally going and on doubt by investors that supply and demand fundamentals justified prices around $8,000 a tonne. [MET/L]
Markets pounded Greek bonds and banking stocks, driving the country's borrowing costs to new highs and pushing it closer to tapping a last-resort safety net. [ID:nLDE6370QK]
The number of U.S. workers filing new claims for unemployment insurance rose unexpectedly last week, reflecting seasonal volatility, according to a government report on Thursday. [ID:nN08157520]
The Canadian dollar fell further back from parity with the U.S. currency on Thursday as oil prices retreated further and euro zone worries persisted. [CAD/]
Dollarama Inc DOL.TO said on Thursday its quarterly profit rose more than 400 percent as recession-weary shoppers flocked to Canada's largest operator of dollar stores. [ID:nN08172914]
Canada's Pacific Northern Gas Ltd PNG.TO said it will buy a hydro-electricity generation facility from Kiewit Hydropower Investors Inc and Renewable Power for about C$17 million ($16.98 million) to boost its asset base. [ID:nSGE6360M6]
Canadian cable and telecommunications company Cogeco Inc CGO.TO and its subsidiary Cogeco Cable Inc CCA.TO posted a second-quarter profit, helped by a growth in revenue-generating units in the cable business. [ID:nSGE6370HG]
Following is a summary of research actions on Canadian companies reported by Reuters on Thursday. [RCH/CA]
* RBC cuts Shoppers Drug Mart Corp SC.TO price target to C$48 from C$52, rating outperform
* UBS cuts TransAlta Corp TA.TO price target to C$23 from C$25; rating neutral
* BMO raises Pacific Northern Gas PNG.TO price target to C$20 from C$19.50, rating market perform
* BMO cuts Centerra Gold Inc (CG.TO) to market perform from outperform
* Raymond James raises Bombardier BBDb.TO to outperform from market perform
* Raymond James raises Domtar Corp UFS.TO price target to $90 from $80, rating strong buy
* Raymond James raises Fortress Paper FTP.TO price target to C$30 from C$28, rating strong buy
$1=$1.01 Canadian Reporting by Claire Sibonney; Editing by Jeffrey Hodgson