TORONTO, May 14 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index could open higher on Thursday, following a steep loss in the previous session, as investors look for bargains. But resource companies could weigh on the market on falling energy prices and weaker gold.
Toronto's main stock index fell for a third consecutive session on Wednesday with heavy losses in the energy and financial groups as soft U.S. retail sales figures wounded investor sentiment.
The S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE sank 3.7 percent, to 9,709.51, with all 10 of the index's main sectors lower. For more see [ID:nN13430158].
Here are some of the stories that may affect the market:
Oil fell below $57 a barrel on Thursday after the International Energy Agency said global oil consumption will fall this year at the fastest rate since 1981. [ID:nSIN503436]
Gold dipped on Thursday as the dollar firmed, but was seen supported by risk aversion as equity markets succumbed to doubts that a recent winning streak was sustainable. [ID:nLE725830]
Wal-Mart Stores Inc (WMT.N) reported a roughly flat quarterly profit on Thursday as its low prices attracted shoppers amid a global economic slowdown, but the retailer's results were limited by a stronger U.S. dollar. [ID:nN14463262]
Gildan Activewear Inc (GIL.TO) reported an 83 percent drop in second-quarter profit, hurt mainly by a drop in unit sales volume and lower gross margins, and warned that weak demand would continue. [ID:nBNG359860]
Packaging and paper-products company Cascades Inc CAS.TO posted a quarterly profit, helped by higher selling prices, lower raw material and energy costs, and the depreciation of the Canadian dollar. [ID:nBNG75021]
Canadian uranium producer Denison Mines Corp (DML.TO) posted a narrower quarterly loss, as higher sales volume in the United States offset a drop in uranium prices. [ID:nBNG375212]
Canadian private-equity firm Onex Corp OCX.TO reported a jump in quarterly profit on Wednesday, but said it still expects the recession to continue for the balance of 2009 despite "glimmers of optimism." [ID:nN13423391]
Following is a summary of research actions on Canadian companies reported by Reuters on Thursday. For more, see [RCH/CA]
* Canaccord Adams raises Gammon Gold GAM.TO price target to C$9.60 from C$9.45; Keeps speculative buy rating
* Genuity raises Quebecor Inc (QBRb.TO) price target to C$23 from C$22; Rating Buy ($1=$1.18 Canadian) (Reporting by Scott Anderson; Editing by James Dalgleish)