*TSX up 24.51 points, or 0.21 percent, at 11,552.76
*Six of TSX’s 10 main sectors higher
*RIM, down 4.6 percent, weighs on index (Adds details)
By Jennifer Kwan
TORONTO, Aug 16 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index ended slightly higher on Monday as gold miners got a boost from strong bullion prices, which climbed on persistent concern about the pace of economic recovery.
Gold rose to a 1-1/2 month high, gaining for a third consecutive session, after gloomy Japanese economic data prompted safe-haven buying by investors worried about the global economy. [GOL/] [MKTS/GLOB] For details, see [ID:nTOE67901S]
The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE finished the day up 24.51 points, or 0.21 percent, at 11,552.76 with six of its 10 main sectors higher.
Economic concerns kept the TSX at the break-even level for most of the day, mimicking Friday’s cautious market performance, said David Baskin, president of Baskin Financial Services Inc.
The resource-heavy TSX index shed 2.3 percent last week as investors fretted about the pace of recovery, worries spurred in part by weaker growth in the United States.
“The one thing that everybody agrees is a real problem is (U.S.) employment. Until we see that improves I think you’re going to see a zigzag pattern,” Baskin said.
“It’s a divided market and nobody really quite knows what’s going to happen next. When that happens you’re going to get days like today,” he added.
Energy shares were up 0.31 percent even though oil prices slipped. [O/R] Suncor Energy SU.TO rose 0.6 percent to C$33.11, and Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO) fell 1.3 percent at C$33.90.
Research In Motion RIM.TO fell 4.6 percent to C$53.02 after an Indian government source said the BlackBerry maker had assured Indian authorities of limited access to its Messenger services by Sept. 1 and that the company will hold talks this week on giving the government access to enterprise mail. [ID:nSGE67F0KO]
Fertilizer maker Agrium Inc (AGU.TO), down 1.8 percent at C$68.81, offered $1.1 billion for Australia’s AWB AWB.AX, trumping a rival bid from local player GrainCorp (GNC.AX), as it seeks to expand its global retail operations. [ID:nSGE67E03D]
Shares of Viterra Inc VT.TO, a leading grain handler in Canada and Australia, rallied 5 percent to C$8.62 after Agrium offered to buy AWB Ltd. Analysts said Agrium’s takeover offer put a stamp of approval on Viterra’s 2009 purchase of Australia’s ABB Grain. [ID:nN16263391]
The blue chip S&P/TSX 60 index .TSE60 closed 0.88 of a point, or 0.13 percent, higher at 671.86.
$1=$1.04 Canadian Reporting by Jennifer Kwan; editing by Peter Galloway