January 14, 2009 / 1:12 PM / 9 years ago

CANADA STOCKS-TSX could get lift from oil prices, Nortel eyed

TORONTO, Jan 14 (Reuters) - Toronto’s key stock index could open higher on Wednesday as a rally in oil prices support the resource-heavy index, but telecommunications equipment maker Nortel Networks will be in the spotlight as reports suggest it could file for bankruptcy protection.

Toronto’s energy sector accounts for about 22 percent of the overall index, and its moves are often influenced by the price of oil, which is a key Canadian export.

As the key energy group has gone the way of oil prices in recent sessions, the rise in oil prices on Tuesday helped steer the broader index from its third straight selloff in the previous session.

The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE is coming off a sharply higher close on Tuesday when investors raced back into equities after a string of selloffs left the TSX at its lowest level in two weeks.

Here is some of the news that may affect the market:

NORTEL MULLING BANKRUPTCY PROTECTION-REPORT

Nortel Networks Corp NT.TO could file for bankruptcy protection on Wednesday as the telecommunications equipment maker faces a large interest payment, a Canadian newspaper said. [ID:N14442869]

OIL RISES TOWARDS $39 ON SAUDI CUTS, US COLD SNAP

Oil rose 3 percent towards $39 a barrel on Wednesday, as OPEC kept up talk of production cuts and a cold snap in the United States boosted heating oil demand. [ID:nLE636936]

GOLD FIRMS ON WEAK DOLLAR, RISING OIL; ECB EYED

Gold firmed in Europe on Wednesday, supported by a weaker dollar and rising oil prices, though it pared gains as the euro slipped from highs against the U.S. currency and equities and base metals turned negative. [ID:nLE364966]

RESEARCH ROUNDUP

Following is a summary of research on Canadian companies. For more, please see [RCH/CA]

* Raymond James cuts ARC Energy Trust AET_u.TO price target by 4.8 percent to C$20 with “market perform” rating.

* Genuity cuts Bankers Petroleum BNK.TO price target 34.8 percent to C$1.50 with “Buy” rating.

ECONOMIC DATA SLATE

There is no key domestic economic data due out ahead of the Bank of Canada’s next interest rate announcement scheduled for Jan. 20. The central bank cut its key rate in December to its lowest level in 50 years and is widely expected to cut it again next week.

$1=$1.22 Canadian Reporting by Frank Pingue, Editing by Chizu Nomiyama

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