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TORONTO, Sept 10 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index is likely to open little changed on Thursday as firm oil prices offset weakness in metals prices.
Investors may also look to U.S. stocks for direction, where index futures pointed to a soft open.
On Wednesday, the S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE ended down 0.95 percent and finished lower for the first time in five sessions on a plunge in mining giant Barrick Gold Corp (ABX.TO) and concerns about the economy.
U.S. stock index futures slipped on Thursday, easing after the S&P 500 benchmark index racked up its highest closing level for the year on Wednesday.
World equities pulled back from an 11-month high on Thursday in the face of a likely weaker opening on Wall Street. [MKTS/GLOB]
Investors awaited data on the U.S. labor market. [.N] expected to show a slight fall in jobless claims.
The S&P/TSX index closed down 105.13 points to 11,000.17 on Wednesday.
Here is some news that could affect the market:
GM PREPARED TO SELL OPEL TO MAGNA -SOURCES
General Motors [GM.UL] is prepared to sell its European carmaker Opel to Canada's Magna MGa.TO, two people familiar with the negotiations told Reuters on Thursday. [ID:nWEA0302]
BANK OF CANADA RATE ANNOUNCEMENT
The Bank of Canada is set to make its rate announcement at 9:00 a.m. (1300 GMT). The central bank will keep up pressure on markets to back off the rising Canadian dollar this week, analysts predict, but it may also express confidence in its view the economy is bouncing back. [ID:nN08189274]
MDS INC MDS.TO
Health sciences company MDS Inc reported a quarterly loss on Thursday, hurt by the lingering effects of a nuclear isotope shortage and as customers deferred research and development projects. [ID:nN09339777]
VITERRA INC VT.TO
Canadian grain-handling company Viterra Inc said an Australian court has approved its A$1.6 billion ($1.4 billion) takeover of ABB Grain Ltd ABB.AX. [ID:nBNG376344]
INMET MINING CORP IMN.TO
Inmet Mining Corp denied media reports on Wednesday that it has agreed to sell a stake to South Korea's state-run Korea Resources Corp, but said the two sides have been in talks. [ID:nSEO206423]
Crude oil prices climbed back above $72 a barrel on Thursday, further supporting gold, which is often bought as a hedge against oil-led inflation. [O/R]
GOLD, BASE METALS
Gold prices slipped below $990 an ounce in Europe on Thursday, giving up earlier gains, as the dollar index .DXY turned higher, denting interest in the precious metal as an alternative asset. [GOL/]
Copper drifted lower on Thursday, as persistent rises in inventories reflected poor demand, while lead prices tumbled more than 7 percent on expectations of a surplus in the market despite shutdowns. [MET/L]
The third straight opinion poll to be released this week shows Canada's ruling Conservatives maintaining a slim lead over the main opposition Liberals as the chances of an early election appear increasingly likely. [ID:nN09355199]
Raymond James downgraded Progress Energy Resources Corp PRQ.TO to "market perform" from "outperform," primarily due to the recent rally in the oil and gas company's shares after it reported second-quarter results. [ID:nBNG379642]
Wellington West raises Viterra Inc VT.TO raises price target to C$13.50 from C$13.00; rating buy.
Versant cuts WestJet Airlines WJA.TO price target to C$14 from C$15; rating buy.
For more research, please see: [CA-RCH]
($1=$1.09 Canadian) (Reporting by Jennifer Kwan; Editing by Andrew Hay)