Toronto stock index set to open lower on resources

Tue Aug 12, 2008 8:48am EDT
 
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*TSX set to open lower on weak commodities

*Oil and gold prices retreat

*Rothmans, Rona results could be in spotlight

TORONTO, Aug 12 (Reuters) - Toronto Stock Exchange's main index was set to open lower on Tuesday, as stumbling commodity prices will likely hurt energy and materials stocks.

Worries over slumping demand for commodities have dogged the benchmark index in recent weeks.

U.S. light crude oil futures dropped 0.7 percent to $113.70 a barrel, after earlier falling to a three-month low of $112.48, as Russia called a halt to the conflict in Georgia. Spot gold prices earlier plummeted to 8-month lows as a rally in the U.S. dollar triggered a massive selloff.

News out of the United States on Tuesday isn't likely to help the market either, said Steve Ibel, institutional equities trader at Beacon Securities, in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

"We are seeing further weakness in commodities," said Ibel. "The financials might get hit as well due to the problems south of the border."

No. 3 U.S. bank JPMorgan Chase (JPM.N: Quote) said it had taken another $1.5 billion of writedowns since July, while Swiss bank UBS AG UBSN.VX posted a worse-than-foreseen quarterly loss.   Continued...