News from Reuters

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Bay Street Week Ahead: An ailing US could make Canada sick

TORONTO (Reuters) - Cracks in the U.S. economy could become major safety hazards for Canadian investors before the year is out. A flagging economy in the United States -- as some analysts are warning -- could yank the Toronto Stock Exchange's main index down to 10,500 over the next year, a good chunk lower than its recent record highs around the 12,000-mark.

Wall St Week Ahead: Stocks to face new rate fears

By Caroline Valetkevitch NEW YORK, Feb 3 - U.S. stock investors head into next week with fresh concerns about inflation and interest rates after Friday's payrolls report showed robust job and wage growth, while a less-than-stellar earnings picture could add to weaker sentiment.

Prosecutors come out slugging at Enron trial

HOUSTON (Reuters) - Prosecutors inflicted considerable damage against ex-Enron chiefs Ken Lay and Jeffrey Skilling with their first witness, legal experts say, but the defense was certain to be gunning for him when the trial resumes on Monday. Former Enron investor relations chief Mark Koenig, who testified on Wednesday and Thursday, recounted what he called lies and manipulated earnings reports, and being in the room when Skilling -- on a tape recording played for the jury -- cursed an investor for asking too many pesky questions.

Sony in talks to spin off 4 non-core units: source

TOKYO (Reuters) - Sony Corp <6758.T> is in discussions to sell sizeable stakes in four "non-core" businesses, including a retail outlet and a French restaurant launched by the late Sony founder Akio Morita, a source close the matter said on Saturday. The four businesses are importer-retailer Sony Plaza Co., cosmetics maker B&C Laboratories Inc., French-restaurant chain Maxim's de Paris Corp., and mail order firm Sony Family Club Inc., according to the source, who declined to be identified.

Toronto stocks snatch meager gain on banks, oils

TORONTO (Reuters) - Toronto stocks managed to eke out a meager gain on Friday as energy issues teamed up with bank shares to offset lackluster gold-mining issues, which sagged with bullion prices. The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index <.GSPTSE> closed up 7.71 points, or 0.06 percent, at 11,937.62, extending its gain for the week to 0.7 percent.

Canadian dollar falls slightly as US$ rallies

TORONTO (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar finished slightly lower against the U.S. currency on Friday, falling initially on strong U.S. jobs data, but then paring its losses as traders bet on continued support from strong energy prices and interest rate increases. Domestic bond prices were mixed, as short-dated debt eased, while long-dated bonds followed U.S. treasuries higher.

OccuLogix stock dives 70 pct on study disappointment

TORONTO (Reuters) - OccuLogix Inc.'s shares plunged 70 percent on Friday after it said a pivotal Phase 3 trial of its RHEO system to treat age-related blindness had failed to meet its goals -- the primary efficacy endpoint it had sought. OccuLogix shares were down C$9.38, or 64.5 percent, at C$5.17 by midmorning after slipping to an all-time low of C$4.20 on the Toronto Stock Exchange. Volume was 360,289 shares. On Nasdaq they were down $8.25, or 64.7 percent, at $4.40 after touching $3.65 earlier in the session.

Canada oil sands to help meet Bush Mideast oil cut

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President George W. Bush could get closer to his goal of cutting U.S. dependence on Middle East crude -- but it won't be his futuristic plan to run cars on fuel made from wood chips or hydrogen that will do the trick. It's Canada.

Cerberus presses deals in Canada despite setback

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Cerberus Capital Management LP's thwarted effort to acquire Canadian retailer Hudson's Bay Co. hasn't dampened the firm's deal-making ambitions in Canada, people close to the firm say. The New York-based multi-strategy investment fund, which has some $16 billion under management, is pressing forward with an ambitious Canadian agenda even as it executes huge deals in the United States.

Alberta wants India to join its oil sands strategy

CALGARY, Alberta (Reuters) - Alberta welcomes plans by Indian state oil companies to invest $1 billion in the Canadian province's burgeoning oil sands sector, as long as they also join efforts to study processing options for the heavy crude, the provincial energy minister said on Friday. "We have been open to investment," Alberta Energy Minister Greg Melchin said. "As long as it doesn't detract from what the Alberta and Canadian objectives are, then that certainly could be satisfactory."

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