Toronto stocks to open lower, bank results eyed

Tue Aug 26, 2008 9:16am EDT
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*Bank of Montreal quarterly profit sags

*Oil and gold slump on firmer U.S. dollar

*Maple Leaf Foods under spotlight on meat recall

TORONTO, Aug 26 (Reuters) - The Toronto Stock Exchange's main index was set for a softer open on Tuesday as weakness in commodities weigh on the resource-heavy market and as investors study quarterly results from the country's biggest banks including Bank of Montreal (BMO.TO: Quote).

Bank of Montreal, Canada's fourth largest bank, said net quarterly profit slipped 21 percent, as provisions for credit losses surged and it took charges for the declining value of certain credit-related securities.

All eyes will be on the financial sector as investors seek clues on whether Canadian banks have been severely affected by the slump in the U.S. financial sector, said Joe Ismail, a technical analyst at Maison Placements Canada.

"There is going to be a lot of debate about the earnings numbers that are coming out of the banks," said Ismail.

Results from Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS.TO: Quote) are also expected on Tuesday.

The S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE begins the day at 13,288.96, down 158.33 points, or 1.2 percent, in a broad fall prompted by financial services stocks.   Continued...