Toronto stocks to get commodity-driven lift

Thu May 15, 2008 9:11am EDT
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*TSX seen higher on key commodities

*Quarterly losses, manufacturing data may hit some sectors

TORONTO May 15 (Reuters) - The resource-heavy main index of the Toronto Stock Exchange was seen rising on Thursday as key commodities oil, gas, gold, and copper were set to boost resource shares, which account for nearly half of the overall index.

The upside was seen overshadowing quarterly losses from Uranium One UUU.TO and FirstService Corp FSV.TO, as well as an unexpectedly sharp drop in Canadian manufacturing sales in March. For details, see: [nN15514480]

The Canadian benchmark is near the record high close it logged on Monday, benefiting from continued strength in commodity prices and, lately, a turnaround in the depressed financial sector.

"The name of the game is how high it can go," said Francis Campeau, broker at MF Global Canada in Montreal.

A weaker U.S. dollar helped to boost crude oil and spot gold, which could lift TSX energy and gold shares. Natural gas was also higher, while most base metals were firm.

The index may also gain momentum from firm European stocks, which reacted to stronger-than-expected growth in the 15-nation region, despite global credit turmoil.

Although the index was seen adding to Wednesday's modest gain, quarterly results may take the wind out of some sectors.   Continued...