October 12, 2010 / 8:57 PM / in 7 years

CANADA STOCKS-TSX gains on Fed minutes, fertilizer stocks

* TSX rises 0.32 percent to 12,575.64

* Fertilizer stocks fuel gains as corn futures rally

* Fed discussed further stimulus - minutes (Adds details throughout)

TORONTO, Oct 12 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index rose to its highest level in more than two years on Tuesday, helped by minutes from the U.S. Federal Reserve that showed the U.S. central bank had a “sense” that further support to the economy “may be appropriate before long.”

The index rallied into the close and on its way hit its highest level since Sept. 25, 2008, fueled by expectations the U.S. central bank would flood markets with cheap cash to boost the country’s struggling economy. Stimulus hopes have helped to underscore the index’s recent rally.

The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed up 40.05 points, or 0.32 percent, at 12,575.64 after sitting in negative territory for much of the day. Eight of the TSX’s 10 main groups ended higher.

Fertilizer stocks were among the top gainers, with Potash Corp’s takeover saga still making headlines and as corn futures rallied for a fourth day after the U.S. government slashed its estimates on the crop last week. [ID:nLDE69A0ZI]

Potash Corp (POT.TO) rose 1.02 percent to C$149.01 after the Economic Times reported that China’s Sinochem had approached Indian state-run miner NMDC Ltd for a joint bid to buy the world’s largest fertilizer producer. [ID:nSGE69A035]

Meanwhile, Britain’s Sunday Times reported the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan was plotting a bid to trump BHP Billiton’s (BHP.AX) $39 billion hostile offer for Potash. [ID:nSGE69903N]

“There has been a tonne of interest in anything related to fertilizers, given the Potash story is still right up there on investors’ minds,” said Elvis Picardo, analyst and strategist at Global Securities in Vancouver.

Fertilizer producer and farm products retailer Agrium Inc (AGU.TO) was also a key advancer, closing up 5.32 percent at C$86.49, after hitting its highest level since September 2008 earlier in the session.

$1=$1.01 Reporting by Ka Yan Ng; editing by Rob Wilson

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