REFILE-UPDATE 2-Toronto stocks driven higher by RIM enthusiasm

Thu Apr 3, 2008 2:14pm EDT
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(Refiles to correct spelling of "driven" in headline)

(Updates to afternoon)

TORONTO, April 3 (Reuters) - The Toronto Stock Exchange's main index popped higher on Thursday afternoon, lifted by strong results from Research In Motion RIM.TO and gains in the materials sector.

BlackBerry-maker RIM gained C$6.86, or 5.8 percent, to C$124.49 after its fourth-quarter results, released after the market close on Wednesday, surpassed expectations.

RIM also provided a cheery outlook that suggested it is comfortably riding through the U.S. economic slowdown. Toronto's overall tech sector rose 1.8 percent.

"It's just in stark contrast (to) the very fact that the broad economy is no doubt weakening here, and you can see it showing up in earnings, and yet this company is doubling their earnings," said Ian Nakamoto, director of research at MacDougall, MacDougall & MacTier.

The S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was up 97.66 points, or 0.72 percent, at 13,611.80 in the afternoon with six of its 10 main sectors rising.

Potash Corp of Saskatchewan (POT.TO: Quote) helped lead the upside, adding C$6.20, or 3.8 percent, to C$169.40, while the materials sector gained 1.2 percent. Elsewhere in the group, Agrium (AGU.TO: Quote) moved up C$4.08, or 6.5 percent, at C$67.35.

Nakamoto said the big interest in Potash and RIM showed that investors were putting their faith in companies that performed well last year.   Continued...