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 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...