Toronto stocks set to open higher after CPI data

Fri Mar 14, 2008 9:09am EDT
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TORONTO, March 14 (Reuters) - The Toronto Stock Exchange's main index was seen opening higher on Friday, supported by innocuous U.S. inflation data and commodity prices that continue to prop up materials and energy shares.

After a resource-based jump in the previous session, the TSX could find comfort in U.S. consumer price data that showed no change in February. The news was taken to increase the likelihood of a big rate interest rate cut next week, and pushed up U.S. stock futures.

Joe Ismail, technical analyst at Maison Placements Canada, called the futures move a "knee-jerk reaction" by a market accustomed to gloomy news on the U.S. economy.

Ismail also suggested the Canadian market could see some profit-taking as the session progresses toward the weekend.

"Overall, the market is still in a correction stage -- and we're not finished yet," he said.

Gold was slightly lower early on Friday after the futures price broke through the $1,000-an-ounce threshold for the first time on Thursday.

The price of crude oil, which has also logged a series of record highs in the last couple weeks, edged lower after the CPI data was released.

In the gold-mining subsector -- which has outperformed the overall TSX on the back of soaring bullion prices -- Iamgold's IMG.TO chief executive said he was encouraged after meeting French President Nicolas Sarkozy that the company will be able to develop projects in French Guiana. See: [nN13375386]

Toronto-Dominion Bank TD.TO, Canada's second-biggest bank, may get a boost after the U.S. Federal Reserve approved its proposed acquisition of New Jersey-based Commerce Bancorp CBH.N. For details, see: [nN13344260]

The S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE starts the day at 13,443.50 after rising 146.15 points, or 1.1 percent, on Thursday.

($1=$0.99 Canadian) (Reporting by Jonathan Spicer; Editing by Peter Galloway)