TORONTO, June 9 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock market index could open higher on Tuesday as rising oil prices and a multibillion dollar merger involving UK-based oil explorer Heritage Oil HOIL.L and Genel Energy International [CUKRO.UL], shine the spotlight on the energy sector.
Firm gold and base metals prices were also expected to prop up the resource-heavy market as a weaker U.S. dollar supported prices.
The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was knocked lower for the first time in three sessions on Monday as a late charge by bank shares was not enough to offset the drag of lower oil prices on weighty energy issues. [nN08335304]
Here is some news that could affect the market:
Oil rose on Tuesday, snapping a two-day slide, to climb above $69 by 8 a.m. as the U.S. dollar retreated. [nSP387179]
Gold edged higher in Europe on Tuesday as the euro clawed back some lost ground against the dollar, boosting the precious metal's appeal as an alternative asset to the U.S. currency. [nL91024887]
UK-based oil explorer Heritage Oil said on Tuesday it had agreed to merge with Genel Energy International, a unit of Turkey's Cukurova Group, to create an oil producer focused on Iraqi Kurdistan, a combination worth around $5.5 billion. [nL9405539]
The consortium led by Canadian car parts group Magna MGa.TO remains on track to buy General Motors' GMGMQ.PK German carmaker Opel, a senior German politician said on Tuesday. [nL9549690]
Air Canada ACa.TO ACb.TO said on Tuesday it reached tentative agreements with three of its unions on contracts and pensions as the airline battles a cash shortage and tough competition amid the industry's worst-ever downturn. [nBNG482472]
The dollar paused from gains on Tuesday while investors questioned whether there was a strong enough chance of a U.S. interest rate rise later this year to justify pushing the currency higher.[nL9521858]
Following is a summary of research actions on Canadian companies reported by Reuters on Tuesday. For more, see [RCH/CA]
*Desjardins cuts Gerdau Ameristeel GNA.TO to hold from buy
*Genuity starts Air Canada ACa.TO with sell rating
*Raymond James cuts Connacher Oil and Gas CLL.TO price target to C$1.75 from C$2.25 with a rating of outperform. ($1=$1.10 Canadian) (Reporting by Scott Anderson; Editing by Padraic Cassidy)