TSX steady as bank, energy shares offset Potash drop

Wed Sep 11, 2013 5:16pm EDT
 
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By John Tilak and Rod Nickel

TORONTO/WINNIPEG (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index was little changed on Wednesday as weakness in Potash Corp of Saskatchewan (POT.TO: Quote) was offset by a lightening of market concerns over the Syrian crisis as the effort to reach a diplomatic solution continued.

Talks on placing Syria's chemical weapons under international control intensified, while U.N. investigators concluded that use of chemical weapons by Syrian government forces was almost certainly responsible for two May massacres.

Meantime, investors also braced for the possibility that the U.S. Federal Reserve will move this month to scale back its stimulus program.

"The market really can't make up its mind," said Michael Sprung, president of Sprung Investment Management. "There are a lot of concerns out there that are plaguing the market."

"The market is very fearful of the effect (the Fed's stimulus wind-down) might have, and people are concerned about the fragility of the recovery," he added.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed up 0.94 points, or 0.01 percent, at 12,825.42.

Potash Corp had the biggest negative influence on the index, dropping 3 percent.

Shares of Potash and other producers of the crop nutrient potash fell after strong advances in the two previous sessions that were linked to optimism that Russian rival Uralkali could change strategy.   Continued...

 
A Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) logo is seen in Toronto November 9, 2007. REUTERS/Mark Blinch