Toronto stocks set for softer open on profit-taking

Fri Aug 22, 2008 9:18am EDT
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*Oil and metals to be in focus after rally

*RBC seeks ARS deal with U.S. watchdogs: newspaper

*HudBay says to shutter zinc mine, cut 200 jobs

TORONTO, Aug 22 (Reuters) - The Toronto Stock Exchange's main index is set for a soft open on Friday, tugged lower by commodities as investor take profits following a surge in the previous two sessions.

The heavyweight energy sector may fall after four straight sessions of gains made this week, as oil eased below $120 a barrel, while materials could fall as gold retreated on a firmer U.S. dollar, while some base metals also slipped.

Combined, the two sectors comprise about half of the index's weight.

"I wouldn't be surprised to see a short term pause," said Joe Ismail, technical analyst at Maison Placements Canada. Ismail."Maybe during the day we'll see a bit of profit-taking after yesterday's gains."

Financials may see choppy activity ahead of Canadian bank earnings next week, but news that Korea Development Bank [KDB.UL] said investment bank Lehman Brothers LEH.N was one of its options for an acquisition may provide support. For details, see [ID:nSEO332057]

Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO: Quote) will be in focus after after the Globe and Mail newspaper said it was in settlement talks with U.S. regulators over its role in the U.S. auction-rate securities market. [ID:nN22373526].   Continued...