Toronto stocks set to add to Friday's woes

Mon Mar 31, 2008 9:01am EDT
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TORONTO, March 31 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock market index was set to open lower on Monday, following through on Friday's retreat, as falling oil prices offset rising metal prices.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE begins the week at 13,233 after dropping more than 170 points on Friday on the back of poor performances from the key energy, financial and materials sectors.

Despite the pullback, the index still finished 3.6 percent higher on the week.

"Just when everybody was feeling a bit better about the markets, a bear market grabs you again and this is a continuation from Friday," said John Ing, president at Maison Placements Canada.

Falling oil prices, including U.S. crude oil which was down 0.4 percent at $105.20 a barrel, was seen extending Friday's losses.

Imperial Oil (IMO.TO: Quote) could see activity on Monday after the Canadian government revoked a key water permit recently for its Kearl oil sands project, which could mean a delay of more than a year.

However, metal prices could offset some of the energy sector's negativity as the price for both base and precious metals rise.

Gold firmed to around $938.40 an ounce, while copper sat near recent highs.

Uranium One UUU.TO could attract attention after the producer reported a smaller net loss in the fourth quarter as production ramped up at two key projects.   Continued...