CANADA STOCKS-TSX hits 2-yr high, fertilizer shares soar

Tue Oct 12, 2010 5:36pm EDT
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* 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)

By Ka Yan Ng

TORONTO, Oct 12 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index rose to its highest level in more than two years on Tuesday as fertilizer shares soared and as hopes were renewed that the U.S. Federal Reserve will take further steps to stimulate the anemic U.S. recovery.

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, part of the materials group, were among the top gainers as Potash Corp's takeover saga still made headlines and as corn futures rallied for a fourth day after the U.S. government slashed its estimates for the size of the crop last week. [ID:nLDE69A0ZI]

Potash Corp (POT.TO: Quote) 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: Quote) $39 billion hostile offer for Potash. [ID:nSGE69903N]   Continued...