TORONTO, March 18 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index could open mixed to softer on Thursday as weak oil prices pressure the index's heavily weighted oil and gas group.
The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE may also follow the lead of global equities, which slipped back from recent closing highs on Thursday on worries about Greece not receiving European Union aid. U.S. stock index futures also pointed to a weaker open. [MKTS/GLOB] [.N]
Here is some news that could influence stock prices:
TECK RESOURCES TCKb.TO
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has cleared crucial aspects of a contentious permit that should allow Canadian miner Teck Resources to continue operations at its Red Dog zinc mine in Alaska, an EPA official said on Wednesday. [ID:nN17178526]
C$ TRADES NEAR 20-MONTH HIGH
The Canadian dollar traded near its 20-month high on Thursday as it continued its march toward parity with the U.S. dollar, but a lackluster tone in risk sentiment could keep trade sideways. [ID:nN18212853]
Oil dipped towards $82 a barrel on Thursday after a two-day rally, reacting to the dollar strengthening against the euro and a lack of strong steps from OPEC to tighten supplies above its official output cap. [O/R]
Gold steadied in Europe on Thursday, with weakness in the euro after a report that Greece is not hopeful of receiving aid from other euro zone countries balanced by fresh safe-haven support for the metal. [GOL/]
Copper edged lower on Thursday weighed down by a stronger dollar and investor worries that monetary tightening in China, the world's top copper user, might cap demand. Benchmark copper for three-months delivery MCU3 on the London Metal Exchange traded at $7,485 a tonne at 1035 GMT from a close of $7,534 on Wednesday. [MET/L]
NEW GOLD (NGD.TO)
Canadian gold miner New Gold (NGD.TO) said full operations will resume at its Cerro San Pedro mine in Mexico after a federal district court lifted restrictions on the use of explosives at the mine. [ID:nSGE62G0K9]
PREMIUM BRANDS HOLDINGS CORP (PBH.TO)
Food products maker Premium Brands Holdings Corp (PBH.TO) posted fourth-quarter results that missed market estimates, weighed down by weakness in all its sales channels, but said it is optimistic about 2010.
Raymond James raises First Quantum Minerals (FM.TO) target price to C$165 from C$130; keeps strong buy rating.
RBC raises Transcontinental Inc TCLa.TO price target to C$18 from C$17; rating outperform. [CA-RCH] ($1=$1.01 Canadian) (Reporting by Jennifer Kwan; Editing by James Dalgleish)