TSX gains on Potash, banks; gold miners slip

Thu Apr 24, 2014 4:41pm EDT
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By Alastair Sharp

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index rose slightly on Thursday, helped by a gain in shares of Potash Corp (POT.TO: Quote) after the company's results beat low expectations and by small increases in heavyweight banking stocks.

The upward thrust was offset by declines in major gold miners and an 11.5 percent plunge in Colombia-focused oil company Pacific Rubiales Energy Corp PRE.TO.

With the domestic stock market hitting highs last reached in mid-2008, stock pickers are taking a more nuanced view in building positions, resulting in long-maligned sectors such as energy producing winners and losers in almost equal measure.

"Investors are becoming much more discerning. You're not seeing buying across the board," said Elvis Picardo, a strategist at Global Securities in Vancouver.

Potash Corp shares rose 1.8 percent to C$39.02 after the world's biggest fertilizer company beat profit expectations in a tough quarter.

"Today's news on Potash is a classic example," Picardo said. "People were bearish on that name for quite a while, so the bar was low and the company came out and beat expectations."

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE ended up 20.86 points, or 0.14 percent, at 14,554.25. Eight of its 10 main sectors notched gains.

But Barrick Gold (ABX.TO: Quote) fell 1.7 percent at C$19.25, and Goldcorp Inc (G.TO: Quote) was down 0.7 percent at C$27.08.   Continued...

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