January 23, 2009 / 1:48 PM / 9 years ago

CANADA STOCKS-TSX may open lower on weak oil, economic gloom

TORONTO, Jan 23 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index could open lower on Friday, pulled down by weakness in the price of oil and base metals and on reports overseas that further aggravated the sullen global economic picture.

On Thursday, the S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE dropped 3.1 percent, or 271.33 points, to finish at 8,486.56, led lower by weakness in the energy sector and glum economic readings on both sides of the border.

Here is some news that could affect the market:

RIM RIM.TO

Securities regulators in United States and Canada are close to negotiating final settlements with senior executives of Research in Motion Ltd over controversial options-granting practices, a Canadian newspaper reported. [ID:nBNG397838]

EUROPEAN, UK RECESSION

European economic reports provided fresh signs of the depth of the recession on Friday, while data in Britain confirmed the economy had gone into recession as GDP contracted more than expected in the last quarter of 2008. [ID:nSP365996]

OIL DOWN

Oil falls below $43 on Friday, but trimmed earlier losses after a survey showed OPEC cut supplies sharply in January. [ID:nSP6823]

GOLD, BASE METALS

Gold jumped 2 percent to a near three-week high as volatility on the currency markets drove investors toward bullion. [ID:nLN283836], while base metals were weaker on a firmer U.S. dollar and concerns about falling demand and rising inventories. [ID:nLN311028]

VERISIGN VRSN.O, CERTICOM

Internet security provider VeriSign Inc VRSN.O agreed to acquire Canada's Certicom Corp (CIC.TO), the companies said in a statement. [ID:nBNG409694]

CANADIAN NATIONAL RAILWAY (CNR.TO)

CN posted a higher operating income in the fourth quarter after the market close on Thursday, although its net slipped because of year-ago asset sales. [ID:nN22232099]

HUSKY ENERGY INC (HSE.TO)

The head of Husky Energy Inc's (HSE.TO) oil sands business has resigned, as questions linger about the fate of its multibillion-dollar project with the oil industry in a downturn. [ID:nN22261511]

NEXEN INC <NXY.TO

Nexen, Canada's fourth-largest independent oil producer, said on Thursday it produced the first synthetic crude from its C$6.1 billion Long Lake, Alberta, oil sands project. However, with the industry downturn the product is worth a fraction of what it would have been last summer. [ID:nN22439208]

GLOBAL MARKETS

European equities sold off on Friday amid the spread of economic gloom to company performance, while data confirmed Britain's entrance into recession. [MKTS/GLOB]

U.S. stock index futures pointed to a lower open on worries over corporate profits and the outlook for the year and as the global economic slowdown showed no signs of abating. [ID:nN23297670]

CANADIAN RESEARCH

RBC cuts Canadian National Railway (CNR.TO) price target to C$53 from C$54, with a outperform rating, while UBS cuts Potash Corp (POT.N) price target to $97 from $105 and kept its buy rating. [ID:nBNG148057] [CA-RCH] ($1=$1.26 Canadian) (Reporting by Jennifer Kwan; Editing by James Dalgleish)

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