Toronto stock index set to open higher, data eyed

Fri Jul 25, 2008 9:00am EDT
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*TSX expected to open higher on profit-taking

*Caution over U.S. economic outlook could weigh

*Loblaw reports 18 percent jump in profit

TORONTO, July 25 (Reuters) - The Toronto Stock Exchange's main index is expected to open higher on Friday, as investors scoop up shares after Thursday's big slide, but cautiousness over the outlook for the U.S. economy may weigh.

The benchmark slipped more than 2 percent on Thursday, triggered by losses in financials as investors seized on data highlighting concerns over a slumping U.S. economy.

Performance in the heavily-weighted sector withered from this past week's steady ascent after U.S. bank stocks fell on data that showed a drop in sales in existing U.S. homes.

The sector, which had been battered by the fallout from the credit crunch and U.S. housing slump, rose more than 16 percent in the past week on better than foreseen U.S. bank results.

Canadian banks report their quarterly results around the end of next month.

Typically, after a big drop the market would be expected to rally, but investor jitters may keep the benchmark at bay, said Michael Sprung, president at Sprung & Co. Investment Counsel.   Continued...