February 26, 2009 / 1:27 PM / 9 years ago

CANADA STOCKS-TSX may rise on oil, eye on banks

TORONTO, Feb 26 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index is poised to climb at the open on Thursday as oil prices rose, but quarterly bank results and falling gold prices may offset.

The S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE rose on Wednesday for a second straight session.

Below is some of the news that may affect the market.

BANK RESULTS

Bank shares got a boost on Wednesday as Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO) kicked off Canada’s bank reporting season with a smaller than expected drop in quarterly profit, a result that boosted both its stock and shares of its peers.[ID:nN25325226]

First-quarter bank results are expected to once again be a large influence on the index on Thursday with Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO), National Bank of Canada (NA.TO) and Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CM.TO) due to report quarterly results.

* See also: RBC profit falls 15 pct [ID:nN26538378]

* See also: CIBC results [ID:nWNAB7363]

* See also: UK launches toxic asset insurance for banks [ID:nLQ412152]

OIL ABOVE $43

Oil rose above $43 a barrel after the United Arab Emirates announced deeper cuts in crude supply to Asia for April in a possible signal that OPEC will cut output further at its next meeting in March. [ID:nSIN102835]

* See also: Enerplus Resources Fund ERF_u.TO says will most likely convert to dividend-paying corporation [ID:nWNAB7250]

GOLD FALLS

Gold slid in volatile trade to its lowest level in more than a week, but analysts said the fallback could encourage further buying by investors looking for a safe place to park their assets. [ID:nLQ92844]

See also: Gold miners see growth, base metals seek rebound [ID:NN25510781]

TORSTAR RESULTS, CEO STEPS DOWN

Newspaper and book publisher Torstar Corp (TSb.TO) reported a fourth-quarter loss and cut its annual dividend by half. The company also announced its chief executive officer Robert Prichard has decided to step down. [ID:nBNG429814]

BIOTECHS POST QUARTERLY RESULTS

Canada’s biggest publicly traded drugmaker Biovail Corp BVF.TO posted a quarterly profit helped by a large deferred income tax benefit, but revenue fell. [ID:nN26539694]

Labopharm DDS.TO reported a bigger quarterly loss, hurt mainly by legal fees from the U.S. patent enforcement of its key once-daily tramadol pain treatment. [ID:nN26537635]

* See also: Atrium ATB.TO results [ID:nWNAB7330]

* See also: Paladin Labs PLB.TO results [ID:nWNAB7331]

RESEARCH ROUNDUP: TD BANK

Brokerage Genuity cut TD Bank’s price target to C$42 from C$44, while UBS cut the target to C$53 from C$57, the day after Canada’s No. 2 bank reported a smaller-than-expected drop in quarterly profit.

Following is a summary of research actions on Canadian companies reported by Reuters. For more, please double click [RCH/CA]

* Raymond James raises FirstService (FSV.TO) price target

* Desjardins, RBC cut Sherritt (S.TO) price target

* UBS cuts Agrium (AGU.TO) to neutral from buy

$1=$1.25 Canadian Reporting by Ka Yan Ng, Editing by Chizu Nomiyama

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