TORONTO, March 23 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index could open higher on Monday, supported by firmness in the price of oil and following global equity markets upward on optimism over a U.S. plan to purge banks of toxic assets.
U.S. stocks index futures soared on Monday on news of the plan to buy up to $1 trillion worth of toxic assets from banks, a key element of its drive to pull the economy out of recession. [MKTS/GLOB]
On Friday, the S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE ended down 184.14 points, or 2.12 percent, at 8,506.35, ending a string of eight consecutive higher closes.
Here is some news that could affect the market:
SUNCOR ENERGY (SU.TO), PETRO-CANADA PCA.TO
Suncor Energy Inc, Canada’s No.2 oil company, agreed to buy rival Petro-Canada for about C$18.43 billion to expand its oil sand reserves and create the country’s biggest energy group. [ID:nN22497404]
Separately, Petro-Canada PCA.TO and partners in its Fort Hills oil sands venture said on Friday they reached an deal with the Alberta government on extending leases, one of the steps needed to move the delayed project ahead. [ID:nN20525343]
Potash Corp of Saskatchewan Inc said on Monday that it planned to give its shareholders a say on the way it pays its top executives, joining several other Canadian companies that have adopted the practice in recent weeks. [ID:nN23175020]
Canadian Auto Workers union begins talks with Chrysler Holding LLC CCMLPD.UL on Monday. [ID:nWEN6326]
Canada’s opposition Liberals have edged past the governing Conservatives in popularity, five months after suffering a sharp electoral defeat, according to a poll released on Saturday. [ID:nN21437375]
AbitibiBowater Inc ABH.N announces an extension of the expiration date for its private debt exchange offers, consent solicitation and concurrent private notes offering to Mar. 25. [ID:nWNAB6397]
Oil rose toward $53 a barrel on Monday, continuing its fifth week of gains, bolstered by expectations that the U.S. Treasury’s efforts to stabilise the ailing financial system could speed up a recovery of the U.S. economy. [ID:nSP333879]
Gold held firm on Monday as worries about the weaker dollar and price pressures were offset by new details on a U.S. plan to cleanse banks of toxic assets. [ID:nLN182774] Base metals were higher. [ID:nMAN194797]
CANADIAN OIL SANDS TRUST COS_u.TO
Canadian Oil Sands Trust said on Friday it is cutting its 2009 outlook for production from the Syncrude Canada Ltd oil sands venture, the world’s largest producer of synthetic oil. [ID:nN20523380]
Raymond James raises Bankers Petroleum BNK.TO price target to C$2.15 from C$2. [ID:nBNG397018], [CA-RCH] ($1=$1.23 Canadian) (Reporting by Jennifer Kwan; Editing by Theodore d‘Afflisio)