March 24, 2008 / 1:01 PM / 9 years ago

Banks, gold poised to help Toronto stocks rebound

TORONTO, March 24 (Reuters) - Toronto stocks were poised for gains on Monday, on the back of firm financial and metal shares as it tries to recover from steep losses last week.

But the advance may be capped by weakness in the influential energy group.

"The financials and the golds could give the market a little bit of lift here today," said Steve Ibel, an institutional equities trader at Beacon Securities in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

"But oil is trading down so that could be the one negative point on the market today."

Ibel also saw some volatility throughout the session as the North American markets set their own course, with some key global markets closed for Easter Monday.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE begins the week at 12,775.64 after ending the holiday-shortened week with a gain of 66 points. Domestic markets were closed on Good Friday.

For all of last week, the key index lost 3.6 percent, however, as retreating resource prices and worries over the stability of the financial sector weighed heavily on two of the market's key sectors.

Bank stocks could find strength on Monday in the wake of news that JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N) was in talks to quintuple its offer to buy Bear Stearns Cos BSC.N.

JPMorgan could lift its offer for Bear to $10 per share from its original $2, in a deal which would value the company at more than $1 billion.

Gold shares could also lift the market on Monday as the price for the precious metal stabilized around $920 an ounce.

But falling oil prices could constrict the broader gains as the price for U.S. crude oil slipped 1.2 percent to $100.65 a barrel as investors locked in profits and Saudi Arabia said it planned to boost supply.

In individual company news, Imax Corp IMX.TO said it had signed a joint venture with Regal Cinemas to have 31 of its giant movie screens installed in 20 major U.S. markets.

Cott Corp (BCB.TO) said David Gibbons will be interim chief executive, replacing Brent Willis. The company has started to look for a permanent CEO. ($1=$1.03 Canadian) (Reporting by Scott Anderson; Editing by Bernadette Baum)

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