May 13, 2008 / 1:08 PM / 11 years ago

Profit taking set to hit Toronto stock index

TORONTO, May 13 (Reuters) - Toronto stocks were poised for a soft opening on Tuesday as investors lock in gains following the index’s race to record levels in the previous session.

The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE begins the day at 14,666.07, after closing up 144.88 points on Monday at a new closing high.

But the index is expected to open slightly weaker as investors take advantage of some of the rewards reaped in the record run.

“Always when the market makes a significant move like we have seen, you are bound to have some profit takers coming into the system,” said Joe Ismail, a technical analyst at Maison Placements Canada.

“We will probably open up a little bit to the downside in the beginning. Then we will regroup and move forward.”

Likely to weigh on the market are weak prices for commodities including gold and oil.

U.S. crude oil was flat around $124 a barrel after the International Energy Agency cut its forecast for world oil demand growth and investors took profit after a rally to record highs.

Meanwhile, weak precious metals could also hit the key materials index which is home to some of the country’s biggest metals producers.

Gold appeared range bound on Tuesday after slipping on the strength of the U.S. dollar and other currencies. Platinum dropped more than 2 percent after rising to its highest level in almost two months on Monday on speculative buying following the launch of U.S. platinum exchange-traded notes.

Gold traded around $879.90 an ounce after earlier hitting an intraday low of $874.75.

Cameco (CCO.TO), the world’s top uranium producer, reported first-quarter results that more than doubled on Tuesday helped by a strong performance from its uranium and gold businesses.

MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd MDA.TO reported a higher first-quarter profit on Monday, even as a stronger Canadian dollar ate into the data-processing and space technology firm’s results. ($1=$1.00 Canadian) (Reporting by Scott Anderson; Editing by Bernadette Baum)

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