Toronto stocks set for higher open with banks in focus

Thu Aug 28, 2008 9:25am EDT
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*RBC, TD, National Bank report results

*Strength in oil and gold may support TSX

TORONTO Aug 28 (Reuters) - The Toronto Stock Exchange's main index was set for a higher open on Thursday, buoyed by strength in commodity-related stocks and as investors digest quarterly results from the country's banks including Royal Bank of Canada RY.TO which delivered stronger-than-expected results.

RBC said early on Thursday its third-quarter profit fell 10 percent, as it took capital markets charges and higher loan-loss provisions, largely in its U.S. banking operations. For details, see [ID:nN28260224]

Third-quarter net income slipped at Toronto-Dominion Bank TD.TO, as a difficult capital markets environment reduced profit in its wholesale business, but the bank raised its dividend. [ID:nN28260111]

The last of Canada's big six banks to report, National Bank of Canada NA.TO said that third-quarter profit climbed on better results in its financial markets and retail banking units, as well as a gain on a Canadian exchange merger. [ID:nN28266795]

"The financials are probably neutral to up," said John Kinsey, portfolio manager at Caldwell Securities Ltd.

"Gold looks good so that part of the materials should be up," he added. "Oil is up so that should auger well for the energy stocks."

On Wednesday, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce CM.TO reported a write-down related to the troubled U.S. housing market that came in lower than analysts' expectations, sending shares skyward.   Continued...