TORONTO, Aug 13 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock market index could open higher on Thursday buoyed by firm oil and gold prices and positive economic news from the United States, France and Germany.
Gross domestic product in France and Germany, the euro zone's two biggest economies, rose by 0.3 percent each in the second quarter against expectations for a decline of 0.3 percent. [ID:nLD368819]
The positive news followed assurances from the U.S. Federal Reserve that the worst of the financial crisis was over.
The Fed said on Wednesday it will extend to the end of October a program to buy longer-term government securities, and it kept interest rates steady near zero as expected. [ID:nN12136106].
The resource-heavy market could also rise on firming oil prices which rose 1.9 percent to $71.51 a barrel on the positive economic news. [ID:nSP355185]
Gold prices rose above $960 an ounce for the first time in about a week on a weak U.S. dollar and rising oil prices. [ID:nLD415545]
The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE rose 0.3 percent to 10.659.87 on Wednesday, following two days of losses after the Fed said it saw some signs of a more stable economy after 20 months of recession. [ID:nN12165839]
Here is some of the news that may affect the market.
Wal-Mart Stores Inc WMT.N reported roughly flat quarterly profit as the strong U.S. dollar lowered the value of its international sales and it faced tough comparisons with last year when shoppers spent U.S. government issued stimulus checks in its stores. [ID:nN13399911]
Magna MGa.TO and its Russian partner, Sberbank SBER.RTS, have reached an agreement to acquire a 55 percent stake in Opel with the management of General Motors [GM.UL], Magna Co-Chief Executive Siegfried Wolf told Reuters on Thursday. [ID:WEA6238]
Kinross Gold K.TO said on Wednesday its second-quarter profit fell 26 percent due to a foreign exchange loss, but its revenue and cash flow doubled as its three new gold mines boosted production. [ID:nN12319795]
Canadian private-equity firm Onex Corp OCX.TO swung to a quarterly profit on Wednesday and said it is well positioned to move on deals for distressed and restructured assets created by the weak economy. [ID:nN12162676]
T-shirt maker Gildan Activewear Inc GIL.TO reported a 24 percent decline in quarterly profit on Thursday, hurt by a drop in demand and lower gross margins. [ID:nN13219253]
Mega Brands Inc MB.TO posted a wider second-quarter loss on Thursday hurt by lower sales across both its divisions, but sees a new line of toys called "Battle Strikers" boosting results later in the year. [ID:nN13236122]
Canada's Petrobank Energy and Resources Ltd PBG.TO posted lower second-quarter results as the oil and gas company was hurt by a drop in world oil prices but said production rose 72 percent. [ID:nBNG474886]
*RBC RAISES CAE INC CAE.TO PRICE TARGET TO C$11 FROM C$9
*MACQUARIE RAISES CAMECO CCO.TO PRICE TARGET TO C$36.75 FROM C$36.50; RATING OUTPERFORM
*DUNDEE CUTS CARDIOME PHARMA CORP COM.TO TARGET PRICE TO C$8 FROM C$10; RATING BUY
Other research actions: For additional research, please double click [RCH/CA] ($1=$1.08 Canadian) (Reporting by Scott Anderson; Editing by Kenneth Barry)