Toronto stock index set for higher open

Wed Jul 30, 2008 9:13am EDT
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*TSX set for higher open despite weak resources

*Canadian Oil Sands may be in focus after results

*Great-West LifeCo could draw attention

TORONTO, July 30 (Reuters) - The Toronto Stock Exchange's main index was set for a higher open on Wednesday, as strong quarterly results from Canadian Oil Sands Trust COS_u.TO could overcome weakness in the price of oil and gold.

Canadian Oil Sands, owner of the biggest stake in Syncrude Canada Ltd, surged back into the black in the second quarter as oil prices jumped to a record, it said after the market's close on Tuesday.

The trust also raised its quarterly distribution by 25 percent to C$1.25 a unit, despite reporting lower production and rising operating costs.

The news could set a positive tone for the market, said Fred Ketchen, director of equity trading at ScotiaMcLeod.

"It's just another indication of the continuing strength in the earnings power of our energy companies," he said. "It focuses on the strength in the energy sector and the contribution it makes to the economy and market."

Other results that could draw attention on Wednesday include Great-West LifeCo Inc (GWO.TO: Quote), which should provide clues on how well domestic life insurers are holding up versus the banks given the fears over the health of the U.S. financial system.   Continued...