CANADA STOCKS-Toronto stocks could be set for mixed open

Thu Apr 16, 2009 7:59am EDT
 
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TORONTO, April 16 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index could get off to a mixed start on Thursday given a combination of higher oil prices, better-than-expected earnings from a big U.S. bank and the bankruptcy of a major U.S. mall owner.

Higher oil prices stand to benefit the energy sector and help that influential group snap a two-session skid.

And a rally in overseas stocks on news that U.S. bank JPMorgan Chase (JPM.N: Quote) reported better-than-expected earnings could also carry over into the North American session and offer a boost to the influential financials index. [ID:nN16542451]

But news that General Growth Properties Inc (GGP.N: Quote), the second largest U.S. mall owner, filed for bankruptcy protection on Thursday, may rattle investor sentiment and crimp any gains or keep the index pinned lower. [ID:nLG285644]

Investors will also key in on the February manufacturing sales report for Canada due at 8:30 a.m. (1230 GMT). That will be followed by the more key domestic consumer price index data for March on Friday.

The S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE eked out a gain of 14.49 points to close at 9,246.11 on Wednesday as financials made a late push and offset weak resource issues.

Here is some of the news that may affect the index:

OIL EDGES UP TOWARD $50; MIXED DATA CURBS GAINS

Oil edged towards $50 a barrel on Thursday, but gains were limited as mixed data from China and the United States reminded investors that any signs of economic recovery were still only tentative. [ID:nSP405814]   Continued...