TORONTO, Jan 29 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index could open flat to lower on Friday, as energy producers see the price of oil headed for its third straight weekly drop and mining companies contended with a stronger U.S. dollar.
But the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE could also follow U.S. futures slightly higher after strong results from Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O) and Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O) and after Ben Bernanke won U.S. Senate approval for a second term as Federal Reserve chairman [.N].
Investors will digest the latest reading of gross domestic product from both Canada and the United States.
Canadian stocks ended lower Thursday, weighed down by disappointing results and forecasts issued by market heavyweight Potash Corp POT.TO.
Here is some of the news that may affect the market:
Oil edged up toward $74 per barrel, finding some respite, even as it heads toward a third consecutive weekly drop on evidence that fuel demand was lackluster. [O/R]
Gold eased in Europe, as the dollar held near multimonth highs versus the euro, as uncertain outlooks for smaller euro zone economies, mainly Greece, curbed interest in the single currency. [GOL/]
A top European Union official said there was no risk Greece would default or leave the euro zone, and the country’s finance minister said he was not aware of any bailout talks. For details, see [ID:nLDE60S0XN]
Shares in Canadian-listed coal mining company SouthGobi Energy Resources Ltd (SGQ.TO)(1878.HK) fell about 11 percent in their Hong Kong debut, hurt by the stock’s overly high valuation and poor market timing. [ID:nNSGE60S0A]
Norbord Inc NBD.TO, a producer of wood-based panels, posted a narrower fourth-quarter loss, on cost cutting and lower input prices, and sees a more positive building materials market, particularly in Europe, this year. [ID:nSGE60O0HW]
Canadian Oil Sands Trust COS_u.TO, which holds the largest stake in the Syncrude Canada Ltd partnership, said on Thursday its fourth-quarter profit fell 23 percent despite strengthening oil prices, as it wrote down the value of some Arctic gas fields. [ID:nN27228786]
Kinross Gold Corp (K.TO) said Thursday its proven and probable gold reserves totaled 51 million ounces at the end of 2009, a 12 percent increase over the previous year, largely on contributions from its Lobo-Marte project in Chile. [ID:nN28121508]
Zarlink Semiconductor Inc’s ZL.TO third-quarter profit plunged 95 percent after a noncash foreign exchange charge, and forecast a fourth-quarter profit range whose lower end was below estimates. [ID:nSGE60C0H6]
Following is a summary of research actions on Canadian companies reported by Reuters on Friday. [RCH/CA]
* Raymond James cuts Petrobakken Energy Ltd PBN.TO price target to C$41.50 from C$42.50
* Raymond James reduces Result Energy Inc RTE.V rating to “market perform” from “outperform”
* Desjardins cuts CLG Life Tech Corp (GLG.TO) rating to “hold” from “buy” ($1=$1.07 Canadian) (Reporting by Claire Sibonney; editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)