(Corrects paragraph 4 to show it was highest close since Oct 20, not Nov 4)
TORONTO, May 7 (Reuters) - Strength in commodity prices are likely to boost Toronto’s main stock index on Thursday at the open, while market players also consider earnings reports from some of Canada’s biggest companies.
Meanwhile, world stocks rose more than 1 percent to their highest levels of 2009 as investors bet on a stabilization of the ailing world banking system, battered emerging markets and the global economy at large. [MKTS/GLOB]
The results of “stress tests” of major U.S. banks are due at 5 p.m. (2100 GMT). Leaked reports show that about half will not need new capital. [ID:nL776802]
Toronto’s main stock index shot through the 10,000-mark to its highest close in six months on Wednesday. The S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE finished up 262.71 points, or 2.7 percent, at 10,143.43, its highest close since Oct 20.
Here are some of the factors that may affect the market:
Oil rose towards $58 a barrel, hitting a fresh 2009 high, as a surge in global stock markets raised expectations of economic improvement and a subsequent increase in demand for oil products. [ID:nSP407747]
Gold rose more than 1 percent as a break through the previous day’s high sparked technical buying. Prices are also being supported by uncertainty ahead of a European Central Bank rates announcement at 1145 GMT and the result of U.S. bank stress tests later in the session. [ID:nL7976027]
Telecom giant BCE Inc (BCE.TO) posted a higher quarterly profit as it booked fewer charges than a year earlier. [ID:nWNAB5228]
* See also: Bell Mobility acquires full ownership of Virgin Mobile Canada [ID:nWNAB5241]
Magna International MGa.TO has so far presented a more concrete proposal on General Motors (GM.N) unit Opel to the German carmaker than Fiat FIA.MI, Opel’s supervisory board member Armin Schild told Reuters. [ID:nWEA0996]
* See also: GM posts Q1 loss; burns through $10 bln [ID:nN06340190]
* RBC cuts Magna price target [ID:nWNAB5343]
Insurer Sun Life Financial Inc (SLF.TO) swung to a quarterly loss, hurt by an increase in reserves due to a decline in equity markets. [ID:nBNG474786]
Yellow Pages Income Fund YLO_u.TO reported a 4 percent rise in quarterly profit, helped by strength in its directories segment, and the company cut its annual cash distribution by 32 percent. [ID:nBNG471757]
* Goldcorp (G.TO)
* Telus (T.TO)
* Manulife Financial (MFC.TO)
* Great-West Life (GWO.TO)
* Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO)
Following is a summary of research actions on Canadian companies reported by Reuters on Thursday. For more, see [ID:RCH/CA]
* Genuity cuts Manitoba Telecom Services MBT.TO price target to C$34 from C$35; rating sell.
* RBC raises HudBay Minerals price target to C$9 from C$7.50; rating sector perform. ($1=$1.17 Canadian) (Reporting by Ka Yan Ng; Editing by James Dalgleish)