Toronto stocks to open higher as commodities eyed

Mon Aug 18, 2008 9:12am EDT
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*TSX set to open higher after Friday's slide

*Price of oil and gold seen in focus

*Key inflation data due later this week

TORONTO, Aug 18 (Reuters) - Toronto Stock Exchange's main index is expected to open higher on Monday, buoyed by oil and gold after a slump in commodity prices last week.

Oil backed off to around $113 a barrel as supply fears related to Tropical Storm Fay eased, while gold and some base metals firmed.

Commodities and the U.S. dollar will be the main focus, said Steve Ibel, institutional equities trader at Beacon Securities, in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

The Toronto Stock Exchange main index capped a losing week with a plunge on Friday to its lowest level since March, as energy and materials stocks fell on tumbling oil and metal prices.

For this week investors will eye Canadian inflation, wholesale trade data and retail sales figures to gauge the health of the economy.

"It's going to be choppy and largely sideways most of day until we get more important news out later in the week," said Ibel.   Continued...