CANADA STOCKS-TSX clings to gain as banks, Potash rise

Wed Nov 11, 2009 4:46pm EST
 
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 * TSX up 0.11 percent at 11,439.75
 * Hits highest level in nearly three weeks, then retreats
 * Early oil gains fizzle, but banks, Potash hold the line
 (Updates to market close, adds details)
 By Ka Yan Ng
 TORONTO, Nov 11 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index
finished slightly higher on Wednesday in a quiet session marked
by an early jump to a three-week high that eroded as the day
progressed.
 Advances by banks and Potash Corp POT.TO, helped by an
encouraging economic report from China, overpowered a drop in
the energy group that took the index lower, briefly, just
before the close.
 Potash Corp led all gainers, up 1.8 percent at C$106.52,
followed by several big banks. Bank of Nova Scotia BNS.TO
rose 1.1 percent to C$47.82 to lead the banks, while Royal Bank
of Canada RY.TO gained 0.63 percent to C$57.18.
 The index shot up more than 100 points from the get-go as
oil prices firmed above $79 a barrel after Chinese factory
output data signaled the world's third-largest economy has put
the worst of the global financial crisis behind it.
[ID:nPEK212006]
 "The market got excited out of the gate this morning based
on the strong China story and the weak U.S. dollar, but then it
faded," said Francis Campeau, broker at MF Global Canada in
Montreal.
 "We're at technical resistance in both Canada and U.S."
 The S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed up 13.01
points, or 0.11 percent, at 11,439.75.
 Gold-mining stocks played a role in the TSX index's gains
as the gold price hit a record high near $1,120 an ounce as the
U.S. dollar tumbled. Kinross Gold K.TO rose nearly 1 percent
to C$20.50.  [GOL/]
 On the downside, Suncor Energy SU.TO flipped to being one
of the biggest drags on the index after being the most
influential gainer early on. It fell 0.33 percent to C$36.74.
Shares of fellow oil company EnCana ECA.TO dropped 1.3
percent to C$60.70.
($1=$1.05 Canadian)
 (Editing by Peter Galloway)