* TSX down 6.32 points, or 0.05 percent, at 13,395.99
* Five of 10 main groups decline
* RIM, Potash, Manulife lead gains (Adds details, comments)
By Solarina Ho
TORONTO, Jan 5 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index closed little changed on Wednesday, recovering from earlier losses with the help of advances by Research In Motion RIM.TO and Potash Corp. (POT.TO)
Soft commodity prices helped keep pressure on the resource-heavy index throughout the session, which saw the materials group retreat 0.48 percent.
Barrick Gold (ABX.TO) fell another 3.39 percent to C$49.84 after Tuesday’s 2.88 percent as gold prices extended their decline amid further profit-taking and a strong U.S. dollar. [GOL/]
Kinross Gold (K.TO) slipped 2.21 percent to C$17.74 while Goldcorp (G.TO) declined 1.26 percent to C$43.94.
The energy group pared earlier declines to finish down a modest 0.15 percent as oil prices bounced back above $90 a barrel on stronger than expected U.S. economic data. [ID:nN05600530] [O/R]
“Often times when you turn the calendar to the new year, people want to do something different... but I think (the winners) are going to continue to win here,” said Ian Nakamoto, director of research at MacDougall, MacDougall & MacTier.
“The materials, the golds are having a pause here, but I think they’ll do well for the balance of the year.”
The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE finished down 6.32 points, or 0.05 percent, at 13,395.99.
“It’s awfully resilient, all things considered. We had a big run up to the end of the year and one would’ve thought we’d have a bigger selloff ... it’s come back a fair bit,” said Nakamoto.
Five of the index’s 10 main groups ended lower, but helping offset the declines was a 1.1 percent rise among technology stocks, mostly powered by Research In Motion, which was up 4.54 percent at C$61.70.
Potash shares climbed 3.53 percent to C$161.50 as the fertilizer giant was bolstered by strong quarterly profit from fellow producer Mosaic Co. (MOS.N) [ID:nN05218018]
Manulife Financial Corp (MFC.TO) was another influential gainer, rising 2.95 percent to C$17.78.
Canada’s largest insurer, which has struggled since the 2008 market crash, said it shorted C$5 billion of equity futures contracts in the fourth quarter of 2010 to protect itself from market swings. [ID:nSGE70409S]
The overall financial group eked out a 0.03 percent gain.
($1=$1.00 Canadian) (Reporting by Solarina Ho; editing by Rob Wilson)