CANADA STOCKS-Toronto index could open down as commodities fall

Tue Jan 20, 2009 7:28am EST
 
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TORONTO Jan 20 (Reuters) - Toronto's key stock index could open lower on Tuesday as a slide in commodity prices and news that Suncor Energy is cutting its 2009 spending threatens to weigh on the resource heavy index.

Canada is a key exporter of oil and gold, so a drop in the price of these commodities could dictate the overall index's move in Tuesday's session as the energy and materials sectors make up about 40 percent of the overall index.

The Canadian November manufacturing data due out at 8:30 a.m. (1350 GMT) is not expected to have much of an impact on investor sentiment as it will be followed 30 minutes later by the Bank of Canada's interest rate announcement.

The central bank is widely expected to cut its benchmark rate by at least 50 basis points, so investors will be watching the accompanying statement very closely to get an idea of the bank's outlook going forward.

The S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE is coming off a drop of 78.92 points, or 0.88 percent, during Monday's session when weakness in commodity prices pulled down energy and gold-mining issues.

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

SUNCOR CUTS 2009 SPENDING, POSTS Q4 LOSS

Suncor Energy Inc (SU.TO: Quote), Canada's second-largest oil sands producer, on Tuesday posted a quarterly loss and said it will halve its 2009 spending plan to C$3 billion ($2.38 billion). [ID:nBNG347039]

OIL FALLS $3 AFTER RUSSIA-UKRAINE GAS DEAL   Continued...