CANADA STOCKS-TSX rises as Barrick results lift gold shares
* TSX up 0.4 percent at 11,682.30
* Barrick leads due to higher profit, spinoff news (Adds details)
By Ka Yan Ng
TORONTO, Feb 18 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock market index was higher on Thursday morning as gold mining shares got a boost from firmer gold prices and better than expected results from Barrick Gold ABX.TO.
Barrick, the world's biggest gold miner, led all heavyweight gainers, up 1.29 percent at C$40.16, after it announced plans to spin off its African assets into a new company and said its quarterly operating profit more than doubled on stronger gold prices. [ID:nN18196026]
Other gold producers also rose, benefiting from strong results in the group. [ID:nN17157078] Goldcorp G.TO was up 1.5 percent at C$41.01, while Agnico Eagle AEM.TO rose 3.2 percent to C$63.86.
Meanwhile, the price of gold turned higher, recovering earlier losses, as traders broadly shrugged off news from the IMF that it would begin sales of 191.3 tonnes of gold on the open market.
"The index was buoyed by earnings coming out of the gold producers. They were a gangbuster quarter with the higher gold price helping margins," said John Ing, president of Maison Placements Canada.
At 10:15 a.m. (1515 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was up 46.81 points, or 0.4 percent, at 11,682.30, after opening slightly lower. Continued...