TORONTO, Feb 11 (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock market index looked set to open lower on Wednesday following a disappointing outlook from Research In Motion RIM.TO and weak results from fertilizer producer Agrium Inc (AGU.TO) and BCE Inc (BCE.TO).
But firm oil and gold prices could offset the losses.
Toronto’s main stock index fell 2.5 percent on Tuesday, breaking a five-day streak of gains, as energy and financial issues sank on skepticism about whether the U.S. bad-debt plan, will be sufficient to bring health back to that country’s financial system.
Below is some of the news that may affect the market:
Research In Motion RIM.TO said its fourth-quarter earnings and gross margin would be at the low end of its previous forecast range, even as subscriber additions topped expectations, sending shares down 8 percent. [ID:nN11352604]
Fertilizer maker and agricultural products retailer Agrium Inc (AGU.TO) (AGU.N) said on Wednesday that fourth-quarter profit fell 28 percent due to inventory write-downs and lower sales volumes. [ID:nN11346773]
BCE Inc (BCE.TO) BCE.N, Canada’s biggest telecom company, reported a fourth-quarter loss on Wednesday reflecting restructuring charges and writedowns on investments, but said it expects earnings to grow more than 5 percent in 2009. [ID:N10294005]
Oil pared gains to hold just above $38 a barrel on Wednesday after the International Energy Agency said fuel demand would contract more sharply than previously thought. [nSYD426357]
Gold rose in Europe on Wednesday, reversing earlier losses, as disappointment with the U.S. bank rescue plan prompted investors to seek out assets such as bullion-backed exchange-traded funds as a haven from risk. [nLB212449]
Following is a summary of research on Canadian companies.
For more, please see [RCH/CA]
*RBC CUTS ABITIBIBOWATER ABH.N ABH.TO PRICE TARGET TO $0.50 FROM $2
*UBS STARTS YAMANA GOLD INC (YRI.TO) WITH BUY RATING AND PRICE TARGET OF C$12.75
*HAYWOOD CUTS SIERRA WIRELESS INC (SWIR.O) TO SECTOR PERFORM FROM SECTOR OUTPERFORM
*GENUITY RAISES INMET MINING CORP IMN.TO PRICE TARGET TO C$26 FROM C$23; RATING HOLD ($1=$1.25 Canadian) (Reporting by Scott Anderson; Editing by Jeffrey Hodgson)