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TORONTO, Jan 14 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index could open higher on Thursday as energy producers get a boost from rising oil prices after reassuring remarks from the U.S. Federal Reserve that demand will grow in 2010.
But gains in the Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE could be offset by weaker gold, which may hurt the heavily weighted materials sector.
And U.S. futures pointed to a softer open ahead of a raft of U.S. data and Intel Corp's (INTC.O) first quarter results after the bell, which are expected to kick off the tech sector earnings with a bang. [.N]
Canadian stocks closed higher after a choppy session on Wednesday after two days of losses.
Here is some of the news that may affect the market:
Oil rose towards $80 a barrel after dropping to 2010 lows the previous day as expectations for rising demand growth in the world's top energy consumer the United States shored up prices. [O/R]
Gold eased slightly in Europe as the dollar firmed a little against the euro ahead of a European Central Bank policy decision later in the session, curbing interest in the metal as an alternative asset.[GOL/]
Barrick Gold Corp (ABX.TO) is suing to halt Goldcorp Inc's (G.TO) planned acquisition from New Gold (NGD.TO) of a 70 percent stake in the El Morro copper-gold project in Chile, which Barrick is also trying to acquire. [ID:nN13225887]
Canwest Global Communications Corp CGS.V, which has filed for bankruptcy protection for parts of the company, reported a first-quarter profit on Wednesday due to a large gain from the sale of its interest in Australia's Ten Network Holdings. [ID:nN13113732]
Canadian gold miner Kirkland Lake Gold Inc KGI.TO said on Wednesday it has entered into a bought deal private placement with underwriters that could see it raise up to C$25 million ($24.3 million) by selling share-and-warrant units, its second private placement since August. [ID:nN13222298]
Following is a summary of research actions on Canadian companies reported by Reuters on Thursday. [RCH/CA]
* RBC raises Cogeco Inc (CCA.TO) price target to C$41 from C$35; rating "sector outperform"
* Raymond James cuts Canadian National Railway Co (CNR.TO) to "market perform" from "outperform"
* Raymond James cuts Stantec Inc (STN.TO) to "market perform" from "outperform"
* Raymond James raises SNC Lavalin Group Inc (SNC.TO) target price to C$58 from C$55
* Raymond James cuts Wajax Income Fund WJX_u.TO to "market perform" from "outperform"
* RBC raises Delphi Energy Corp DEE.TO price target to C$2.25 from C$1.80, rating "outperform"
$1=$1.03 Canadian Reporting by Claire Sibonney; Editing by Jeffrey Hodgson