CANADA STOCKS-Weaker resource prices, Potash pull TSX lower

Mon Nov 15, 2010 4:59pm EST
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   * 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.
 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
 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)