CANADA STOCKS-TSX firms as China growth supports resources
* TSX up 0.32 percent at 10,247.86
* Materials up 0.75 percent
* Energy group falls 0.02 pct on Nexen results, lower oil (Adds details, quote)
By Nina Lex
TORONTO, July 16 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index was slightly higher late on Thursday morning as China's strong economic growth in the second quarter boosted the resource-heavy market and offset the drag of lower oil prices on energy shares.
The mining-heavy materials sector led the index's gain, up 0.75 percent. In the sector, fertilizer producer Potash Corp POT.TO was the index's biggest heavyweight gainer, up 4.2 percent at C$102.10, after Athabasca Potash Inc API.TO, said on Thursday it is exploring a possible sale of all or part of the company. [ID:nBNG199332] Potash Corp was considered a possible buyer.
Barrick Gold ABX.TO was up 0.58 percent at C$37.91, and Iamgold IMG.TO rose 0.54 percent to C$11.23 as gold prices steadied.
Surprisingly strong growth in China in the second quarter made it the best-performing major economy and reinforced hopes it may lead the world out of its deepest recession in 80 years. [ID:nSP537580]
"Particularly with China's growth rate this morning coming out at 7.9 percent, that confirms the expectation that there will be a stronger demand for commodities in the next two months," said Kate Warne, market strategist at Edward Jones in St. Louis, Missouri. Continued...