January 19, 2009 / 1:20 PM / in 9 years

CANADA STOCKS-Toronto index could open lower as oil prices drop

TORONTO, Jan 19 (Reuters) - Toronto’s key stock index could open lower on Monday as a slide in oil prices threatens to spark a selloff on the resource-heavy index that could be exaggerated with U.S. markets closed for a holiday.

Canada is a key exporter of oil, so the drop in prices for the key commodity could dictate the overall index’s move in the upcoming session given the lack of scheduled economic data or corporate news to alter sentiment.

Any moves in the overall index could be exaggerated given light volumes as U.S. markets are closed for Martin Luther King Jr. Day, a day before the inauguration of President-elect Barack Obama.

The S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE fell 1.8 percent last week and capped off the week with a higher close in a volatile session where strength in influential sectors like energy and materials was sapped by a slide in weighty financial shares.

Here is some of the news that may affect the index:

OIL FALLS TOWARDS $35 ON GAS DEAL, GAZA CEASEFIRE

Oil fell more than $1 towards $35 a barrel on Monday on signs of a resolution of a gas row between Russia and Ukraine and after a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas in Gaza eased supply concerns. [ID:nSP387382]

GOLD HITS 1-WEEK HIGH, SEEN TRADING SIDEWAYS

Gold rose to its highest in a week on Monday before trimming gains as the dollar strengthened against the euro and oil prices eased, analysts said. [ID:nLJ554534]

BOMBARDIER GETS OPERATIONS, MAINTENANCE ORDER IN LAS VEGAS

Bombardier Inc (BBDb.TO) said on Monday it received a five year, $58 million order to operate and maintain the Monorail system in Las Vegas, Nevada. [ID:nWNAB0936]

CANADA‘S LIBERALS SAY READY TO VOTE AGAINST BUDGET

Canada’s opposition Liberals will vote against the minority Conservative government’s budget if they consider it incapable of tackling the financial crisis, party leader Michael Ignatieff said on Sunday. [ID:N18331036]

RESEARCH ROUNDUP

Following is a summary of research on Canadian companies. For more, please see [RCH/CA]

* Raymond James starts Canadian REIT (REF_u.TO) REIT with “market perform” rating and C$23 target price.

* Raymond James cuts New Millennium Capital NML.V price target 65.5 percent to C$1 with “strong buy” rating.

ECONOMIC DATA SLATE

There is no key Canadian economic data due out ahead of Tuesday’s Bank of Canada rate announcement, where the central bank is widely expected to cut its overnight rate by 50 basis points to 1.00 percent. [ID:nN15532724]

$1=$1.25 Canadian Reporting by Frank Pingue; Editing by Frank McGurty

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