March 28, 2008 / 1:14 PM / 11 years ago

Toronto stocks set to end five-day winning streak

TORONTO, March 28 (Reuters) - The Toronto Stock Exchange’s main index was set to dip on Friday as a five-day winning streak loses steam along with commodity prices.

The Canadian index could find support, however, if bank shares can continue upward after a positive broker comment on U.S. investment bank Lehman Brothers.

“How Lehman goes, the banks go,” said Francis Campeau, broker at MF Global Canada in Montreal.

But for about half of the resource-heavy TSX, a decline in crude oil and precious and base metals will weigh on Friday.

On Thursday, the influential energy and materials sectors were largely flat.

In corporate news, mid-tier gold producer Iamgold Corp (IMG.TO) said fourth-quarter profit dipped 9 percent partly due to a non-cash charge related to an acquisition. See: [nWNA9926]

Elsewhere in the sector, Barrick Gold (ABX.TO) Chairman Peter Munk will temporarily step into the chief executive’s role after Greg Wilkins, the company’s CEO since 2003, took a leave of absence for medical reasons. See: [nN27434388]

Just after markets closed on Thursday, Canada’s telecoms regulator approved the C$34.8-billion takeover of BCE Inc (BCE.TO) by an investors group, subject to several conditions. For details, see: [nN27318228]

The approval could lift BCE, the country’s No. 1 telecom firm, which helped the TSX to a modest, bank-led rise in the previous session.

Campeau noted that the approval removes one risk from the proposed buyout of BCE, but the major risk — funding for the deal — still remains.

The S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE starts the day at 13,405.78 after adding 13.92 points, or 0.1 percent, in the previous session.

The index has risen 5.5 percent in the last five days, but is still on pace to close out the first quarter in the red early next week.

$1=$1.02 Canadian Reporting by Jonathan Spicer; Editing by Scott Anderson

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