August 1, 2008 / 1:04 PM / 11 years ago

Toronto stock index set for a mixed open

*TSX may get a boost from U.S. jobs data

*Resources, GM may weigh on the index

*Nortel posts quarterly loss but revenues up

TORONTO, Aug 1 (Reuters) - The Toronto Stock Exchange’s main index was expected to open mixed on Friday on weakness in commodity prices, but investors may look to quarterly reports from big names such as tech bellwether Nortel Networks Corp NT.TO NT.N> to find direction.

Nortel, North America’s biggest maker of telephone equipment reported a quarterly loss that tripled from the same time last year, hurt by restructuring charges and currency exchange issues. But revenue rose and Nortel said it was on track to meet its 2008 targets.

In the United States, General Motors Corp (GM.N) reported a $15.5 billion loss, heightening concerns about the economy and credit crunch, which may weigh on Canada’s market too.

Beyond earnings, the market is expected to seize on U.S. jobs data, said Rick Hutcheon, president and chief operating officer at RKH Investments.

The number of jobs eliminated in July was lower than expected, but unemployment rose to its highest level in more than four years.

The data comes one day after a report that showed soft U.S. growth, which revived concerns about a recession.

“The market is desperate for some positive news,” said Hutcheon. “It’s prime for a rally. It’s oversold.”

Oil prices slipped to around $123 a barrel extending losses from the previous session amid concerns over oil demand, while gold fell on weaker oil and a firmer U.S. dollar.

Weakness in both underlying commodities may weigh on the benchmark index, said Hutcheon.

Elsewhere in company news, Eldorado Gold Corp (ELD.TO) could draw some attention following its quarterly results, while Tembec TMB.TO results were expected on Friday morning.

The S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE begins the day at 13,592.91, down 90.30 points, or 0.66 percent, with resources pulling the benchmark index down.

Persistent worries about the outlook for the global economy and fallout from the credit crunch, as well as energy shares that have slipped along with oil prices have taken the index to its lowest level since April.

In New York, stock futures rose following the jobs data, after slipping after the GM results. (Reporting by Jennifer Kwan; editing by Janet Guttsman)

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