* TSX up 0.15 percent at 9,762.15
* Financials up 1.38 percent
* Materials sink 0.62 percent (Adds details, quote)
By Nina Lex
TORONTO, July 13 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index turned positive late on Monday morning after sliding more than 1 percent earlier in the day as financial shares rose after a prominent U.S. banking analyst upgraded Goldman Sachs Group Inc (GS.N).
The financials sector, which accounts for about 30 percent of the TSX index, was up 1.38 percent after analyst Meredith Whitney upgraded Goldman to a “buy” rating. [ID:nBNG121776]
“Meredith Whitney seems to be the financial analyst that people pay attention to,” said Steve Ibel, institutional equities trader at Beacon Securities in Halifax. “It will give the market a bit of a lift in the financial sector. But it probably will be a one-day event.”
Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO) was the index’s biggest heavyweight advancer, up 2.26 percent to C$46.10.
The mining-laden materials sector offset the financial group’s gains, dropping 0.62 percent. Barrick Gold (ABX.TO) was down 0.84 percent at C$36.59 and Goldcorp (G.TO) was down 0.44 percent at C$38.14, as gold dropped toward $910. [ID:nN13399045]
Fertilizer producer Potash Corp (POT.TO) stock was the biggest drag on the index, down 2.45 percent to C$96.69 after the head of India’s IFFCO, a farmer fertilizer cooperative, said on Monday that three international companies have agreed to supply Indian buyers with potash at $460 a tonne, well below current spot market prices around $700 a tonne. [ID:nBNG121776]
At 12:02 p.m. (1602 GMT), the S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was up 15.02 points, or 0.15 percent, at 9,762.15. Six of its 10 main groups were higher. The TSX dropped as low as 9,588.44 earlier in the day.
“I think the market is very volatile and we are going to have big one-day swings,” said Douglas Davis, chief executive officer at Davis-Rea.
“So even though the market is coming up a bit today it’s more of an aberration than a direction.”
$1=$1.16 Canadian Reporting by Nina Lex; Editing by Peter Galloway