January 28, 2010 / 1:27 PM / in 8 years

CANADA STOCKS-TSX may open lower as Potash Corp earnings tumble

TORONTO, Jan 28 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index could open lower on Thursday as disappointing results from Potash Corp (POT.TO) and weak industrial metal prices weigh on the market, but losses could be offset by a boost in oil and gold.

The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE could also follow world equities higher, which rallied after U.S. President Barack Obama, in his State of the Union address late on Wednesday, focused on job creation rather than any concrete details of banking reforms which have spooked financial markets. [MKTS/GLOB]

Canadian stocks finished lower on weak resources on Wednesday, staving off a late-session rally by Research In Motion RIM.TO and financial shares.

Here is some of the news that may affect the market:

POTASH TUMBLES

Potash Corp of Saskatchewan (POT.TO), the world’s largest fertilizer maker, said that fourth-quarter earnings fell almost 70 percent as pricing of key crop nutrients like potash and phosphate have declined sharply from a year ago. [ID:nN28196679]

CP NET INCOME UP

Canadian Pacific Railway (CP.TO) said that fourth-quarter net income rose slightly due to lower operating expenses. [ID:nN28145476]

OIL RISES

Oil rose above $74, rebounding from six week lows hit the previous day, after Obama’s first State of the Union address eased market worries over plans to limit bank risk-taking because it did not reveal concrete moves. [O/R]

GOLD FIRMS

Gold firmed as the dollar eased broadly after Obama’s speech lifted appetite for risk. Gold prices have declined some 4 percent in the last two weeks as the dollar rallied against the euro. [GOL/]

METALS DECLINE

Copper and other industrial metals fell as ongoing worries over possible monetary tightening in China overshadowed Obama’s softer rhetoric on plans to regulate banks. [MET/L]

SINO-FOREST DEAL

Commercial forest plantations operator Sino-Forest Corp TRE.TO signed its sixth long-term deal to acquire pine and Chinese fir trees in China’s Guizhou Province. [ID:nSGE60R0GE]

METHANEX PROFIT

Canada’s Methanex Corp (MX.TO), the world’s largest producer of methanol, reported a quarterly profit, helped by demand for methanol and higher energy prices that led to stronger methanol prices. [ID:nSGE60R06L]

POINTS INTERNATIONAL RAISES OUTLOOK

Points International Ltd PTS.TO, which owns and operates reward program management website Points.com, raised its fiscal 2010 outlook and announced a multi-year extension of its partnership with US Airways Dividend Miles. [ID:nSGE60R0GP]

CELESTICA SAGS

Contract electronics maker Celestica Inc (CLS.TO) posted a 24 percent drop in adjusted quarterly earnings on Wednesday as the markets it sells into, notably telecoms, remained under pressure from the recession although the worst looked to be over. [ID:nN27134251]

CANADA‘S RESEARCH ROUNDUP

Following is a summary of research actions on Canadian companies reported by Reuters on Thursday. [RCH/CA]

* Raymond James raises CGI Group (GIBa.TO) price target to C$16 from C$15.50; keeps “outperform” rating

* RBC raises Sino-Forest Corp TRE.TO price target to C$27 from C$25; rating “outperform”

* Versant starts Oncolytics Biotech (ONC.TO) with “buy” rating; price target of C$4.25

* Raymond James cuts Paladin Energy (PDN.AX) price target to C$4.60 from C$4.90, keeps “outperform” rating

$1=$1.06 Canadian Reporting by Claire Sibonney; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama

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