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TORONTO, March 15 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock market index could open lower on Monday, pulled down by weakness in oil and base metal prices amid ongoing investor concern about possible monetary tightening in China.
The Toronto Stock Exchange's key S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE could follow global markets, which were mostly lower, as a currency spat between China and the United States and worries about sovereign debt combined to keep investors away from riskier assets. [MKTS/GLOB]
A lower open on Monday would follow the index's close above 12,000 on Friday, its highest finish in about 18 months.
Here is some news that could impact stock prices:
Ensign Energy Services Inc reported quarterly earnings below analysts' estimates, mainly on weaker demand for oilfield services and lower margins. [ID:nSGE62E0O8]
Oil fell below $81 a barrel on Monday, pressured by a strengthening dollar ahead economic data from the United States, an OPEC meeting this week and China's looming bank credit rate decision. [O/R]
Gold rose back above $1,100 an ounce in Europe on Monday as rising fears over sovereign debt after a Moody's report and a currency row between China and the United States prompted buying of the metal as a haven from risk. [GOL/]
Copper prices fell on Monday as investors worried that potential monetary tightening in China could cap demand from the world's top consumer of base metals. [MET/L]
Bankrupt Nortel Networks Corp on Friday posted a 62 percent drop in quarterly revenue, as customers cut spending in the face of uncertainty about its bankruptcy proceedings and the shaky economy. [ID:nN12146768]
Vale (VALE5.SA) is going ahead with plans to bring in outside workers to increase production at its strike-bound Sudbury nickel and copper mining operations following last week's rejection of a contract offer, a spokesman said on Sunday. [ID:nN14152809]
RBC resumes coverage of Agrium Inc (AGU.N) with outperform rating; price target of $90.
Raymond James raises First Uranium FIU.TO to outperform from market perform.
RBC cuts Provident Energy Trust PVE_u.TO to underperform from sector perform on valuation.
Macquarie cuts Atco Ltd (ACOx.TO) to neutral from outperform on valuation.
For more research please see [CA-RCH]
$1=$1.02 Canadian Reporting by Jennifer Kwan;