TORONTO (Reuters) - The Toronto Stock Exchange’s main index looked poised to push higher at the open on Friday, strengthened by rising commodity prices, including oil, which touched a record high above $142 a barrel.
However, the downward direction of global markets could inject a negative tone, as could financial shares, which have been hurt by persistent concerns over more fallout from the credit crunch.
The price of oil climbed to an all-time high in the morning, building on the previous session’s gains, while weak world equities prompted investors to put their money in commodities.
In other commodity markets, corn futures rose to a record high, and prices for natural gas, gold and other metals climbed. That could help lift the large number of resource issues traded on the Toronto market.
“I’d say we’re going to open stronger today on the heels of the record oil, stronger gold and natgas,” said Steve Ibel, institutional equities trader at Beacon Securities, in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
Ibel said that financial shares could continue to see pressure, but added, “By and large, I think that will have minimal impact on the market today.”
Shares of Shaw Communications (SJRb.TO), Canada’s No. 2 cable and satellite TV company, could attract attention after it posted higher third-quarter profit on customer gains and higher rates.
The index has shed more than 5 percent in the last six sessions, while global markets have also seen a sell-off this week amid increasing worries over the rising threat of inflation.
World stocks fell to a three-month low on Friday, hurt in part by the soaring oil price, which has played a major part in worries of inflation.
The MSCI main world equity index fell 0.6 percent to a three-month low, while the FTSEurofirst 300 index .FTEU3 dropped to its lowest since late October 2005.
Meanwhile, U.S. stock futures came off their earlier lows after a subdued reading of a key inflation gauge eased worries over the red-hot price of oil and the outlook for financials.
The S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE starts the day at 14,292.14, after sliding more than 1 percent in Thursday’s session, amid a selloff in shares of banks and Research In Motion RIM.TO.
Reporting by Leah Schnurr; Editing by Frank McGurty