Toronto stock index set to open higher on banks

Thu Jul 17, 2008 9:07am EDT
 
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*TSX index seen rising at open on U.S. bank results

*U.S. quarterly results, data could boost sentiment

*Softening price of oil remains in focus

TORONTO, July 17 (Reuters) - The Toronto Stock Exchange's main index is expected to open higher on Thursday as more upbeat quarterly earnings in the U.S. financial sector were seen giving a boost to investor sentiment.

The index's beaten-down financials group could get a big boost after No. 3 U.S. bank JPMorgan Chase & Co JPM.N reported results that topped analysts' estimates.

Toronto financial shares have shed around 18 percent so far this year on fears related to trouble in the U.S. mortgage market.

But any rally won't likely last long, said Beste Alpargun, vice president of equity research at Citadel Securities in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

"It's good that we had breathing space a bit, but in the longer term I don't see the fundamental problems solved," Alpargun said.

"For today, it may be positive but we will see this shakiness, this roller-coaster for a while."   Continued...