TORONTO, March 27 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index could open lower on Friday as the energy and materials sector are pressured by weakness in commodities prices and as investors take pause after the market penetrated the 9,000 level in the previous session.
Global stocks paused on Friday after rallying on tentative hopes of economic recovery while U.S. stock index futures pointed to a lower open after strong gains. See [MKTS/GLOB] [ID:nLR448221]
On Thursday, the S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE finished up 198.06 points, or 2.25 percent, at 8,995.50, as energy issues climbed in tandem with oil prices on optimism that government stimulus measures may be helping to jolt the global economy out of recession.
At one point, the market hit 9,018.50, its highest level in more than six weeks, and the gains lifted the composite to a 0.09 percent gain for the year.
Here is some news that could affect the market:
The government of Ontario said on Thursday it would run budget deficits for the next six years as it spends heavily on infrastructure and cuts some taxes to offset the impact of the global financial crisis on its export-oriented economy. [ID:nN26512563]
Agrium Inc increases offer for CF Industries to $35.00 in cash plus one Agrium share per CF share, an increase of 10 percent in cash consideration. [ID:nWNAB8091]
MANULIFE FINANCIAL CORP (MFC.TO)
Manulife Financial Corp will pay outgoing chief executive Dominic D'Alessandro $12.5 million for less than six months of work in 2009, following a year in which its stock price nearly halved. [ID:nN26525978]
MAGELLAN AEROSPACE (MAL.TO)
Magellan Aerospace Corp, a supplier of aerospace components, posted fourth-quarter profit, but said it will be in "serious" financial difficulty, if it fails to refinance its credit facility and extend a loan. [ID:nBNG34789]
Lululemon Athletica (LULU.O) reported lower fourth-quarter earnings on Thursday that beat estimates, but the upscale clothier said it expects a decline in same-store sales as it grapples with the slowing economy. [ID:nN26495817]
Canada's Conservative government will do whatever it takes to help Canadians through the worst global recession since the 1930s, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty said on Thursday. [ID:nN26497550]
Oil fell on Friday as worse than expected Japanese retail sales figures and U.S. jobless data encouraged profit-taking after several days of gains. [ID:nSP390460]
Gold dipped as investors weighed support from lingering economic uncertainty against growing appetite for riskier assets such as equities. [ID:nLR623677] Base metals were mostly lower. [ID:nLR348434]
Thompson Creek Metals Co sees strong long-term demand for molybdenum, though near-term orders should remain weak but steady with some ongoing pick up from Chinese buyers and other customers following later in 2009. [ID:nN26650079]
Drug development company Akela Pharma Inc said it agreed to buy Nventa Biopharmaceuticals Corp in an all-stock deal valued at about C$1.4 million. [ID:nBNG408696]
Goldman Sachs revises ratings, targets on some oil and gas companies including EnCana Corp (ECA.N) [ID:nWNAB8075], while UBS raises Potash Corp of Saskatchewan (POT.N) price target to $105 from $95. [ID:nWNAB8097] For more research, please see: [CA-RCH] ($1=$1.24 Canadian) (Reporting by Jennifer Kwan, Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)