CANADA STOCKS-Weaker resource prices, 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 (Adds details, quote)
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: Quote) was the most influential mover on the downside, sliding 2 percent to C$138.60. BHP Billiton (BLT.L: Quote) (BHP.AX: Quote) pulled its $39 billion takeover offer after the Canadian government earlier this month blocked the bid. [ID:nSGE6AD04O]
That helped drag down the broader materials group by 1.4 percent. Fellow fertilizer producer Agrium Inc (AGU.TO: Quote) 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.
"There's not going to be any takeover premium for Potash in the very near term."
But Picardo noted the fertilizer producer's fundamentals were sound and said 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. Just two of the index's 10 main groups were lower.
The blue chip S&P/TSX 60 index closed 1.31 points lower, or 0.18 percent, at 730.24.
The main index's 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: Quote) fell 1.5 percent to C$34.42.
Gold miners fell as spot gold prices XAU= eased, sending Barrick Gold (ABX.TO: Quote) down 1.3 percent to C$50.61 and Goldcorp Inc (G.TO: Quote) lower by 1.1 percent to C$46.36.
Gold prices were lower but steadied after the biggest one-day fall in four months in the previous session, as concerns over euro zone sovereign debt and technical buying offset a stronger dollar. [GOL/]
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]
"There's been some concerns about the holiday season, but the numbers seem to be indicating that season might be alright," said Picardo.
Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO: Quote) was up 0.7 percent at C$73.20 and Manulife Financial (MFC.TO: Quote) 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.
Elsewhere, Uranium One UUU.TO, up 0.6 percent at C$4.82, posted a narrower quarterly loss on Monday, helped by an increase in production. It also forecast higher production in 2011. [ID:nSGE6AE0WC]
($1=$1.01 Canadian) (Editing by Jeffrey Hodgson)
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