TORONTO, Oct 30 (Reuters) - The Toronto Stock Exchange’s main index is set to rise at the open on Thursday as commodity prices continued to march higher and on some relief that the U.S. economy had not contracted as much as expected.
Preliminary data for U.S. third-quarter gross domestic product showed the economy shrank but by less than expected, helping extend U.S. stock index futures. For more see [ID:nN29534671].
Investor sentiment appears to be positive, with the resource-rich TSX stringing together a second consecutive day of gains on Wednesday when it closed 3.8 percent higher, supported by commodity-related issues and the U.S. Federal Reserve’s half-percentage-point interest rate cut.
Here is some of the news that could affect the market:
The world’s top gold producer posted lower quarterly net income, after accounting for impairment charges. Excluding items, profit rose slightly. Barrick (ABX.TO) said it expects 2008 output to be within its outlook range. [ID:nN30530785]
A weaker U.S. dollar helped lift gold almost 3 percent to a one-week high. [ID:nLU573299]
Oil rose above $68 a barrel but was off an earlier high of $70.60, boosted by a weak U.S. dollar and hopes that interest rate cuts in the U.S. and China would bolster the world economy. [ID:nSP393073]
Teck Cominco TCKb.TO declared force majeure on shipments of lead and zinc concentrate from its Red Dog open pit mine in Alaska due to bad weather. [ID:nSP353863]
Canadian Oil Sands Trust COS_u.TO cut its quarterly distribution by 40 percent to 75 Canadian cents from C$1.25, citing the decline in crude oil prices and heightened risk in credit markets. The trust, which holds the biggest stake in the world’s largest oil sands producer, Syncrude, also reported higher quarterly profit. [ID:nN29264595]
Newspaper and book publisher Torstar (TSb.TO) reported higher third-quarter profit, beating expectations, but said a soft economy and higher costs will hurt future profitability. [ID:nBNG418553]
Paradigm, UBS and RBC cut their price targets on Sherritt International (S.TO). The miner and energy producer posted sharply higher third-quarter profit on Wednesday but said it would suspend expansion work at two projects and put its Ambatovy nickel project in Madagascar under review due to weak nickel prices. [ID:nN28415033]
AGNICO-EAGLE PROFIT UP; THREE BROKERS CUT
Agnico-Eagle (AEM.TO) said third-quarter profit rose 21.7 percent helped by a foreign currency translation gain and higher gold prices and production. [ID:nN29499993] Genuity Capital Markets, RBC and UBS cut their price targets on the Canadian gold producer. Blackmont raised it to buy from hold.
Genuity Capital Markets cut Brookfield Properties BPO.TO and TMX Group (X.TO). Barclays cut Nova Chemicals NCX.TO. RBC cut Astral Media ACMa.TO and Bell Aliant BA_u.TO. UBS cut Inmet Mining IMN.TO.
For a summary of research actions on Canadian companies reported by Reuters, please double click [RCH/CA]
Tumbling oil prices caused Canadian producer prices to fall more sharply than expected in September, down 1.2 percent from August, Statistics Canada said. [ID:nOTT001433] ($1=$1.20 Canadian) (Reporting by Ka Yan Ng; Editing by James Dalgleish)