Toronto stocks set to cool after recent rise

Thu Apr 17, 2008 9:18am EDT
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TORONTO, April 17 (Reuters) - The Toronto Stock Exchange's main index was set to cool on Thursday as profit-taking and softer commodity prices were poised to eat away at recent gains.

After rising to its highest point in more than five months the day before, investors could lock in profits in the resource sectors, which have led a strong rise this month.

The TSX materials sector jumped nearly 4 percent in the previous session while the energy sector added 1.6 percent. But on Thursday, the prices of metals were flat, and crude oil and natural gas futures dipped.

"We're due for some profit taking, and there's nothing here this morning that gets me excited," said Fred Ketchen, director of equity trading at ScotiaMcLeod.

However, data on Canada's inflation rate -- which slowed more than expected in March -- may give a boost to stocks. The central bank is seen more prone to cut interest rates when inflation is under control. For details, see: [nN17345313]

In corporate news, TransCanada Corp TRP.TO, the country's biggest pipeline operator, said its share of the costs of restarting nuclear units in Ontario will be more than originally estimated. See: [nWNAS8157]

Another stock that may attract interest is the debut of information company Thomson Reuters Corp TRI.TO, formed after Canada's Thompson bought London-based Reuters for more than $16 billion. See: [nL17672779]

The S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE starts the day at 14,099.48 after rising 248.53 points, or 1.9 percent, in the previous session.

(Reporters and editors involved in writing and editing this report may own Reuters securities and are bound by the Reuters Code of Conduct, which restricts dealing in securities in companies on which a journalist is reporting)

($1=$1.00 Canadian) (Reporting by Jonathan Spicer; Editing by Scott Anderson)