July 24, 2008 / 1:22 PM / 11 years ago

Toronto stock index set to open higher on results

*Quarterly results could buoy benchmark

*TSX could find support in stabilizing oil, gold prices

*Kinross to buy Aurelian in C$1.2 bln deal

TORONTO, July 24 (Reuters) - The Toronto Stock Exchange’s main index is expected to open higher on Thursday, as oil and gold prices stabilized, while Petro-Canada PCA.TO, Teck Cominco TCKb.TO and other big names in the resource sector posted strong quarterly results.

Oil nudged up to around $125 a barrel after dipping to a session low of $123.62 a barrel. Prices have fallen by more than $23 a barrel on concerns over growth demand from a record above $147 on July 11.

Gold also stabilized after sliding on Wednesday as the dollar strengthened.

Beyond that, a string of quarterly results could set a positive tone, said Fred Ketchen, director of equity trading at ScotiaMcLeod.

“Those companies that have reported earnings and that have exceeded estimates should do well,” he said. However, there may be a few that come under a “little profit-taking pressure,” he added.

Among companies reporting quarterly results that could ramp up activity in the resource sectors are Potash Corp of Saskatchewan POT.TO, EnCana Corp (ECA.TO) and Husky Energy Inc (HSE.TO).

Deal news in the resource sphere could also put a shine on miners.

Kinross Gold Corp (K.TO) said on Thursday it planned to buy Aurelian Resources Inc ARU.TO in a friendly deal worth C$1.2 billion, giving the Canadian mid-tier gold miner ownership of the Fruta del Norte discovery in southeastern Ecuador.

The benchmark could also find some direction from south of the border, where investors are eyeing quarterly results as well as jobless claims data.

The S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE begins the day at 13,512.66, down 130.53 points, or 0.96 percent. ($1=$1.01 Canadian) (Reporting by Jennifer Kwan; Editing by Frank McGurty)

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