September 17, 2009 / 12:20 PM / in 8 years

CORRECTED - CANADA STOCKS-TSX could open lower as oil price softens

(Corrects Geely item to show the nature of talks were not about a joint bid for Opel, but an alliance that could involve a production partnership and a possible stake. Also corrects Ivanhoe upgrade to show price target rose by $0.50, not from $0.50)

TORONTO, Sept 17 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock market index could open lower on Thursday as oil prices weakened and investors take a breather following the market’s heady gains over the past few sessions.

Oil prices hovered around $72.50 a barrel after rising more than 5 percent this week as swollen U.S. distillate stocks such as diesel offset positive sentiment in other markets. [O/R]

Toronto’s main stock index rose for a fifth-straight session on Wednesday, lifted by a rally in the energy and materials sectors as investors bet the economy may be set to turn around. [.TO]

Here is some news that could affect the market:

POTASH DECLINE

Potash Corp of Saskatchewan (POT.TO) said on Wednesday North American potash inventories declined for a second consecutive month, but inventories at the manufacturer level continue to remain well above average. [nN16156605]

CPI DROPS

Canadian consumer prices fell by 0.8 percent in August compared with a year earlier, the second-largest 12-month drop in more than 50 years, dragged down by falling gasoline prices, Statistics Canada said on Thursday. [nN17185718]

GOLD HITS 2009 HIGH

Gold prices hit 18-month highs for a second consecutive session on Thursday as the dollar slid to one-year lows versus the euro, fuelling buying of the precious metal as an alternative asset. [nLH459748]

GEELY EYES OPEL

China’s Geely Automobile has approached Magna International MGa.TO about a potential production partnership on Opel, a source familiar with the matter said, as China chases Western brands and the technology it needs to drive future growth. [nSHA368250]

NORTEL

Canada has decided against launching a review of the $1.13 billion sale of the wireless assets of bankrupt Nortel Networks NRTLQ.PK to Sweden’s Ericsson (ERICb.ST), Industry Minister Tony Clement said on Wednesday. [nN16157826] [nN16135911]

CANADA‘S BANKS

Canada’s biggest banks are weighing options for using their excess capital, with acquisition opportunities, dividend increases and share buybacks under consideration, executives said on Wednesday. [nN16136744]

ENERGY DRILLING STALLED

Canadian oil and gas companies are unlikely to boost drilling to pre-recession levels unless prices rise significantly, an executive at Precision Drilling PD_u.TO, Canada’s biggest drilling company said on Wednesday. [nN16138669]

CANADA RESEARCH

Following is a summary of research actions on Canadian companies reported by Reuters on Thursday. For more, please double click on [RCH/CA]

* Macquarie raises Ivanhoe Energy Inc IVAN.O price target by $0.50 to $2.75; Rating Outperform

* Versant downgrades Bombardier (BBDb.TO) to Sell from Neutral ($1=$1.07 Canadian) (Reporting by Scott Anderson; Editing by Jeffrey Hodgson)

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