February 18, 2010 / 1:24 PM / 7 years ago

RPT-CANADA STOCKS-TSX may open lower on resources, data eyed

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(Repeats to fix typo in headline)

TORONTO, Feb 18 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock market index could open lower on Thursday, threatening its six-session winning streak, as weak oil and flat gold prices weigh on the resource-heavy index.

Investors will also take time to digest a raft of corporate results from resource companies such as Barrick Gold (ABX.TO) and Nexen Inc NXY.TO, as well as key economic data from both sides of the border.

Toronto's main stock market index finished higher for a sixth straight session on Wednesday as rosy U.S. economic data and retreating worries about European debt lifted bank shares.[ID:nN17127380]

Here is some of the news that may affect the market.

Economic Data

Higher gasoline prices pushed Canada's annual inflation rate to just below the central bank's 2 percent target in January, but that is not expected to trigger interest rate hikes before the second half of this year.[ID:nN18179821]

Meanwhile, the U.S. Labor Department will release its weekly report on initial jobless claims at 8:30 a.m. (1330 GMT) with economists expecting 430,000 new claims compared with last week's reading of 440,000. The January Producer Price Index will also be released, with consensus forecasts calling for a rise of 0.8 percent following a 0.4 percent rise in December.

Barrick Gold

Barrick Gold (ABX.TO) said on Thursday that fourth-quarter operating profit more than doubled on the back of stronger gold prices and that it was spinning off its African assets. [ID:N18196026]

Penn West Energy

Penn West Energy Trust PWT_u.TO posted a quarterly loss, hurt by lower production, and cut its outlook on capital spending for 2010. [ID:nSGE61H0G8]

Gold Steady

Gold steadied on Thursday, recovering earlier losses, as the dollar pared gains versus the euro and traders broadly shrugged off the IMF's news that it would begin sales of 191.3 tonnes of gold to the open market. [ID:nLDE61H11C]

Canada Inflation

Higher gasoline prices pushed Canada's annual inflation rate to just below the central bank's 2 percent target in January, but that is not expected to trigger interest rate hikes before the second half of this year.[ID:nN18179821]

Nexen Inc

Nexen Inc NXY.TO, Canada's No. 5 independent oil exploration company, said on Thursday it returned to profit in the fourth quarter as oil prices recovered from low-levels seen a year ago.[ID:nSGE61H0FX]

Kinross Gold

Kinross Gold Corp (K.TO), Canada's No. 3 miner of the precious metal, reported better-than-expected results on the rising price of gold, and reiterated its production outlook for 2010.[ID:nN17135089]

Rim/Apple

The U.S. International Trade Commission said it launched an investigation of Research In Motion and Apple smartphones that contain digital cameras after receiving a complaint from Eastman Kodak Co EK.N.[ID:nN17141293]

Agnico-Eagle

Agnico-Eagle Mines (AEM.TO) said on Wednesday its fourth-quarter profit more than doubled, as gold prices soared while production was boosted by the opening of three new mines.[ID:nN17187322]

Research Roundup

Following is a summary of research actions on Canadian companies reported by Reuters on Thursday. [RCH/CA]

* Desjardins cuts Loblaw Companies Ltd (L.TO) to Hold from Buy

* RBC raises Rogers Communications (RCIb.TO) price target to C$41 from C$40; Rating Outperform

* UBS raises Westjet Airlines WJAa.TO price target to C$17 from C$16; Rating Buy ($1=$1.05 Canadian) (Reporting by Scott Anderson, Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

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