February 19, 2009 / 1:27 PM / 9 years ago

CANADA STOCKS-TSX may climb on rising oil, eye on Obama visit

TORONTO, Feb 19 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index may rise at the open on Thursday after three straight days of losses as the price of crude oil headed higher.

Gold issues may limit gains as gold companies reported mixed results and the price of the precious metal eased.

Investors may also be keen for news from U.S. President Barack Obama’s one-day visit to Canada, where trade issues are expected to dominate the agenda.

Global stocks offered hints of a positive start, while U.S. stock futures suggested Wall Street might hold off from hitting fresh bear-market lows as a search for beaten-down shares provides some support.

The S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE fell broadly on Wednesday for a third straight session, touching a 2009 low, pressured by weak energy and financial issues.

Below is some of the news that may affect the market.

OBAMA VISITS CANADA

Obama will seek to quell Canadian concerns about U.S. protectionism when he makes his first foreign trip as president on Thursday to the United States’ biggest trading partner and energy supplier. The president’s tight schedule on the one-day trip to Ottawa leaves little time for substantive talks with Prime Minister Stephen Harper. [ID:nN18466482]

* See also: Obama’s visit to Ottawa this week has cast a bright light on Canada’s oil sands [ID:nN18488664]

* Factbox: Main issues between Canada and the United States ahead of the one-day visit [ID:nN18435533]

KINROSS, AGNICO RAISE GOLD OUTPUT BUT RESULTS MIXED

Kinross Gold (K.TO) and Agnico-Eagle Mines (AEM.TO) reported mixed results on Wednesday after markets closed, as gold production soared but profits were eroded or erased by writedowns and the impact of plunging base metal prices. [ID:nN18468043]

* RBC raises, Genuity cuts Agnico price target [RCH/CA]

* See also: Gold eases on profit-taking but gains expected [ID:nLJ304381]

MITSUI EYES STAKE IN TECK COMINCO COAL OPERATION

Japanese trading house Mitsui & Co is among the potential bidders for a stake in Teck Cominco’s TCKb.TO Elk Valley metallurgical coal operation in a deal that could be worth roughly $2.5 billion, three sources with direct knowledge of the matter said. [ID:nHKG158719]

* See also: Teck Cominco shares fell on Wednesday amid refinancing worries [ID:nN18446013]

OIL RISES

Oil rallied towards $36 a barrel ahead of key U.S. inventory data, while the U.S. dollar’s weakness and a recovery in global stock markets offered support to oil prices. [ID:nSIN33588]

* See also: Precision Drilling Trust PD_u.TO announces postponement of senior notes offering [ID:nWNAB4411]

* Husky Energy (HSE.TO) files for up to $3 bln debt shelf [ID:nWNAB4368]

CHRYSLER CANADA HIT WITH C$500 MLN LIEN-PAPER

The Canadian government has hit Chrysler [CBS.UL] Canada with a tax-related C$500 million lien that could complicate negotiations for the automaker as it seeks government aid, the Globe and Mail newspaper said on Thursday. [ID:nN19370813]

QLT POSTS PROFIT

QLT Inc QLT.TO swung to a fourth-quarter profit as rising sales of its Eligard prostate cancer treatment and gains on asset divestments more than offset falling sales of its Visudyne anti-blindness formula. [ID:nN19491184]

RESEARCH ROUNDUP: ROGERS COMMUNICATIONS

National Bank, Genuity, and RBC were among brokerages that cut Rogers Communications (RCIb.TO) price target on Thursday, the day after the company reported a quarterly loss. Shares of the company, which owns Canada’s biggest wireless carrier, fell 7.7 percent on the TSX on Wednesday.

Following is a summary of research actions on Canadian companies reported by Reuters. For more, please double click [RCH/CA]

* Barclays raises Suncor (SU.TO) to overweight from equal weight

* Bernstein raises Talisman Energy TLM.TO to outperform from market perform

$1=$1.25 Canadian Reporting by Ka Yan Ng; Editing by Jeffrey Hodgson

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