CANADA STOCKS-Weaker oil, RBC charge to weigh at open

Fri Apr 17, 2009 8:23am EDT
 
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TORONTO, April 17 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock market index looked set to open little changed to weaker on Friday as unexpectedly firm results from General Electric (GE.N: Quote) and Citigroup (C.N: Quote) are offset by weaker oil and bad news from Canada's largest bank.

Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO: Quote), the country's largest lender, said on Thursday it will take a charge of roughly $850 million (C$1.03 billion) because the value of its international businesses has declined, reducing second-quarter earnings by an equivalent amount. [nN16291534]

Canadian data will also be eyed after Statistics Canada said the country's annual inflation rate slowed to 1.2 percent in March from 1.4 percent in February on falling gasoline and car prices, but the core rate closely watched by the central bank unexpectedly rose to 2 percent. [nN17500487]

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE rose 1.1 percent to 9,343.37 on Thursday in a broad rally led by the financial and energy groups as quarterly financial results helped reassure investors. [nN16255809]

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

CITIGROUP POSTS LOSS, DELAYS EXCHANGE OFFER

Citigroup posted a first-quarter loss on Friday, reflecting a large amount of credit losses and the accounting for preferred stock. [nN17310824]

GE PROFIT TOPS FORECAST, ENERGY IS KEY LIFT

General Electric reported a 36 percent drop in quarterly profit, but topped Wall Street's expectations on the back of its large energy operation, which makes electricity-producing turbines. [nN17446745]   Continued...