CANADA STOCKS-TSX headed for soft open as oil slips

Thu Mar 18, 2010 8:49am EDT
 
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 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: Quote)
 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 SAGS
 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 FIRMS
 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/]
 BASE METALS
 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: Quote)
 Canadian gold miner New Gold (NGD.TO: Quote) 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: Quote)
 Food products maker Premium Brands Holdings Corp (PBH.TO: Quote)
posted fourth-quarter results that missed market estimates,
weighed down by weakness in all its sales channels, but said it
is optimistic about 2010.
 CANADA RESEARCH
 Raymond James raises First Quantum Minerals (FM.TO: Quote) target
price to C$165 from C$130; keeps strong buy rating.
 RBC raises Transcontinental Inc (TCLa.TO: Quote) price target to
C$18 from C$17; rating outperform. [CA-RCH]
 ($1=$1.01 Canadian)
 (Reporting by Jennifer Kwan; Editing by James Dalgleish)