Toronto stocks to cool with focus on gold and oil

Thu Jan 10, 2008 9:05am EST
 
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TORONTO Jan 10 (Reuters) - The Toronto Stock Exchange's main index was set to cool on Thursday after a late-session climb the day before, depressed by commodity prices and another warning from a U.S. financial institution.

Investors will also digest results from Jean Coutu Group PJCa.TO and Cogeco Inc CGO.TO, which were among the first to trickle in ahead of Canada's fourth-quarter corporate results season.

U.S crude oil futures tumbled to below $94 a barrel after a report showed a rise in U.S. fuel stocks. That could weigh on the TSX energy sector, which is also unlikely to get any support from flat natural gas futures.

Meanwhile spot gold, another key bellwether for the resource-heavy Toronto index, slipped below $870 an ounce. The TSX gold sub-sector could see some profit taking after exploding out of the gate this year, up more than 15 percent so far in 2008.

"Gold is again going to be the story, and it still seems like bullion will take a stab at $1,000 (an ounce)," said John Ing, president of Maison Placements Canada.

"But as is so often the case, we'll be focusing on the United States."

U.S. stock futures were lower in early action after Capital One Financial Corp COF.N, a credit card issuer and banking firm, issued a profit warning. That fueled fears over the ongoing credit crisis in that country, Canada's biggest trading partner.

Elsewhere, drugstore chain Jean Coutu reported a big drop in second-quarter profit, which was expected, due to the sale of its U.S. Brooks Eckerd chain last year. For details, see: [nN10312877]

And Cogeco Inc, the TV and communications firm, said an impairment charge led to a loss in the last fiscal period. For details, see: [nN09628453]

The S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE starts the day at 13,579.94 after rising 38.19 points, or 0.3 percent, in the previous session.

($1=$1.01 Canadian) (Reporting by Jonathan Spicer; Editing by Scott Anderson)