Toronto stock index set for higher open

Thu Jul 31, 2008 9:01am EDT
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*TSX may get boost from Barrick results

*Oil pulls back from Wednesday's gains

*Imperial Oil results may be in focus

TORONTO, July 31 (Reuters) - The Toronto Stock Exchange's main index was expected to open higher on Thursday, extending its previous gains, as a ream of quarterly results including mining heavyweight Barrick Gold Corp ABX.TO may cheer investors.

Barrick Gold said its second-quarter profit rose 22 percent, as soaring gold prices outpaced rising costs.

The results could help to set a positive tone for the day, extending the benchmark index's more than 2 percent rise in the previous session, said Joe Ismail, technical analyst at Maison Placements Canada.

"It's still on a positive note and I wouldn't expect it to change its course in the short term," Ismail said of the benchmark index's performance.

"We still have enough momentum to push forward unless we get a complete surprise in one of the major company earnings."

Other results that could draw attention on Thursday include Goldcorp Inc G.TO and Imperial Oil Ltd IMO.TO, Canada's No. 2 oil exploration and refining firm.   Continued...