June 20, 2008 / 1:12 PM / 11 years ago

Toronto stocks set for choppy day, banks in focus

*TSX set for volatile day

*Worries over banks could be offset by rising oil

TORONTO, June 20 (Reuters) - The Toronto Stock Exchange’s main index looked ready for a mixed open on Friday, as worries over the health of financials could be offset by strengthening energy stocks after a bounce in oil prices.

Oil, a key factor for the benchmark’s heavyweight energy sector, pushed above $134 a barrel after tumbling nearly $5 on Thursday after China said it would raise fuel prices.

But worries of more fallout from the credit crunch emerged after Citigroup (C.N) said on Thursday that it could have significant write-downs in the second quarter.

Canadian financials have not seen the same depth of the problems as their U.S. and global counterparts, but Rick Hutcheon, president and chief operating officer at RKH Investments, said the sector could be caught up in the worries on Friday.

“We’re just utterly preoccupied by these financial stocks right now, it’s front and foremost in everyone’s mind right now,” said Hutcheon.

The S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE starts the day off at 14,790.15, after a steep drop on Thursday amid tumbling oil prices and pressured by inflationary fears.

On the economic front, retail sales for April rose as Canadians returned to stores, Statistics Canada said on Friday. For details, see: [nN22550164].

In corporate news, Wi-Lan WIN.TO said it has begun litigation against Motorola MOT.N, Research In Motion RIM.TO, and UTStarcom Inc (UTSI.O), alleging the companies are infringing on Wi-Lan’s patents. See: [nN20426125]

Plan and train maker Bombardier (BBDb.TO) could see action after it said it had secured an order for 110 Learjet 60 XR aircraft. The value of the firm order is valued at about $340 million, while the total value of the contract if conditional orders are confirmed will be about $1.5 billion.

On Wall Street, stock futures were pointing lower while there was talk among traders of a possible profit warning by Merrill Lynch MER.N. (Reporting by Leah Schnurr; editing by Janet Guttsman)

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