CANADA STOCKS-TSX advances as gold snaps back, Potash rises

Wed Aug 18, 2010 5:24pm EDT
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* TSX up 52.44 points, or 0.45 percent, at 11,781.08

* Potash rises 3 pct; BHP to take offer to shareholders

* Strong gold miners help push TSX higher (Adds quote on Potash, details)

By Jennifer Kwan

TORONTO, Aug 18 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index ended higher on Wednesday as investors hoped for a higher bid for takeover target Potash Corp POT.TO, while gold miners also rose.

Investors continued to fixate on developments in BHP Billiton's BHP.AX BLT.L campaign to take over Potash Corp POT.TO. BHP said it would take its $39-billion, $130-a-share bid directly to shareholders, bypassing Potash Corp's board, which a day earlier called the bid "grossly inadequate". [ID:nSGE67H031] [ID:nN22340110]

Potash Corp shares gained 3 percent to C$151.75, helping the materials sector climb 1.9 percent. On Tuesday, Potash soared 26 percent.

"They're betting on either BHP raising their offer or another competitor coming in and competing for Potash," Aaron Fennell, senior market strategist at Lind-Waldock Canada, said of investor reaction.

Still, it's difficult to know how events will unfold, said Paul Taylor, chief investment officer at BMO Harris Investment Management Inc.   Continued...