November 15, 2010 / 9:36 PM / in 7 years

CANADA STOCKS-Weak resources, Potash pull TSX lower

   * TSX down 13.83 points, or 0.11 percent, at 12,735.41
 * Energy, materials sector lead TSX lower
 * Potash down 2 pct after BHP withdraws bid  (Updates to close, adds quotes)
 By Jennifer Kwan
 TORONTO, Nov 15 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index ended lower on Monday as commodity prices fell and the broader market was pressured by weakness in Potash Corp after BHP Billiton scrapped its bid for the fertilizer giant.
 Potash Corp (POT.TO) was the most influential mover on the downside, sliding 2 percent to C$138.60 after BHP Billiton (BLT.L) (BHP.AX) scrapped its $39 billion takeover bid, a move that came shortly after Canadian regulators blocked the offer. [ID:nSGE6AD04O]
 That helped drag down the broader materials group by 1.4 percent. Fellow fertilizer producer Agrium Inc (AGU.TO) fell 2.1 percent to C$80.01.
 “Potash is one of the big drivers on the downside and that’s because of BHP abandoning its bid,” said Elvis Picardo, an analyst and strategist at Global Securities in Vancouver.
 “It sort of indicates that there’s not going to be any takeover premium for Potash in the very near term,” he said. Picardo noted, however, the fertilizer producer’s fundamentals were still sound and that’s why Potash hadn’t skidded even further on the news.
 The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE ended the day down 13.83 points, or 0.11 percent, at 12,735.41. Two of the index’s 10 main groups were lower.
 The heavyweight energy sector dropped 0.6 percent as U.S. crude oil futures ended below $85 a barrel in a late day selloff. [O/R] Suncor Energy (SU.TO) fell 1.5 percent to C$34.42.
 Gold miners fell as spot gold prices XAU= eased, aiding Barrick Gold (ABX.TO) down 1.3 percent to C$50.61 and Goldcorp Inc (G.TO) lower by 1.1 percent to C$46.36.
 The hefty financials sector, up 0.6 percent, had helped the market keep above water for most of the day. Picardo noted that financials found support from upbeat U.S. data that showed retail sales rose a surprisingly strong 1.2 percent in October, nearly double market expectations. [ID:nN15239736]
 Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO) was up 0.7 percent at C$73.20 and Manulife Financial (MFC.TO) climbed 2.2 percent to C$15.22.
 The sector’s gains came after financials skidded 3 percent last week amid concerns over sovereign debt in the euro zone.
 ($1=$1.01 Canadian)  (Reporting by Jennifer Kwan; editing by Rob Wilson)                                        

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