Weak resources, results to weigh on Toronto stocks

Tue Feb 12, 2008 8:55am EST
 
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TORONTO Feb 12 (Reuters) - Toronto stocks were seen opening flat to slightly lower on Tuesday amid limp commodity prices and following weak results from key producers such as Teck Cominco (TCKb.TO: Quote) and Fording Canadian Coal FDG_u.TO.

A dearth of market-moving news will also keep investors on the sidelines.

More profit taking could creep into the unstable market following a 140-point rise on the Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE on Monday.

"It stands to reason that with no major news and weaker commodities, we will probably have a lower opening," said Steve Ibel, an institutional equities trader at Beacon Securities in Halifax, Nova Scotia. "I don't see any catalysts jumping out today."

Commodities are expected to influence trading as the price for the influential U.S. light crude oil futures slid 1.2 percent to $92.40 a barrel, backing off from one-month highs of the previous session.

Canadian Natural Resources Ltd(CNQ.TO: Quote) said on Tuesday its Horizon Oil Sands Project in Alberta could cost more than 25 percent above its C$6.8 billion target as severely cold weather slowed construction.

Meanwhile, gold fell 1 percent to $912 an ounce, unable to match the rise of platinum -- its rich counterpart -- which set a record high of $1,965 an ounce.

Investors are expected to focus on a mixed bag of corporate results, while awaiting another flood of key reports later in the week.

Forest products firm Tembec Inc TBC.TO swung to a loss in the first quarter, hit by lower lumber prices, declining demand and the appreciation of the Canadian dollar.

Fording said its fourth-quarter profit fell 57 percent on lower realized coal prices, but the company said metallurgical coal looks stronger on the horizon.

Teck Cominco said on Monday its fourth-quarter profit fell 68 percent, hit by lower zinc and coal prices, the stronger Canadian dollar and C$84 million in one-time charges. ($1=$1.00 Canadian) (Reporting by Scott Anderson; Editing by Bernadette Baum)