January 22, 2009 / 1:18 PM / in 9 years

CANADA STOCKS-TSX may follow energy shares to higher open

TORONTO, Jan 22 (Reuters) - Toronto’s key stock index could open higher on Thursday and add to sharp gains recorded during the previous session as a rise in oil prices has the potential to support the resource heavy index.

The energy sector makes up about 22 percent of the overall TSX index, and the direction of oil prices often sets the tone for the sector.

But global economic concerns could cap any potential gains or even drag the overall index lower as the weighty financial sector, home to banks and insurers, is often swayed by investor sentiment of the global economy.

The S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE is coming off a 3 percent surge on Wednesday after a late-session surge by all 10 sectors helped it erase an earlier stint in lower territory.

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

OIL RISES ABOVE $44, EYES ON US STOCK DATA

Oil rose almost a dollar to above $44 a barrel on Thursday, supported by wintry weather in the northern hemisphere, OPEC supply curbs and a rally in European equities. [ID:nSP391920]

GOLD EASES BUT PHYSICAL BUYING SUPPORTS

Gold edged lower in Europe on Thursday but interest in physical bullion as a haven from risk, as investors worry about the global economic outlook, is supporting the precious metal above $850 an ounce. [ID:nLM263150]

CONNACHER RESUMES OUTPUT AS BITUMEN PRICE IMPROVES

Connacher Oil and Gas Ltd CLL.TO said on Wednesday it is resuming full output at its Alberta oil sands project after six weeks of curtailment because returns on the extra-heavy crude have improved. [ID:N21460900]

RESEARCH ROUNDUP: BARRICK, KINROSS

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

* Genuity raises Barrick Gold Corp (ABX.TO) price target by 9 percent to C$48 and increases price target on GoldCorp (G.TO) by 13 percent to C$43.

* Genuity raises Kinross Gold (K.TO) price target 6.8 percent to C$23.50 and ups Iamgold (IMG.TO) price target 15.8 percent to C$11.

ECONOMIC DATA SLATE

Canadian retail sales for November are due at 8:30 a.m. (1330 GMT) along with the leading indicator for December. That will be followed by the Bank of Canada’s Monetary Policy Report at 10:30. Earlier this week the central bank lowered its key overnight rate by 50 basis points to 1 percent and predicted a period of negative inflation this year.

$1=$1.26 Canadian Reporting by Frank Pingue

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