CANADA STOCKS-TSX ends lower despite RIM jump

Fri Dec 18, 2009 4:43pm EST
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 * TSX down 0.08 percent at 11,463.40
 * Tech sector leads as RIM jumps 10.3 pct
 * Potash, base miners weigh
 (Adds official close, comments)
 By Cameron French
 TORONTO, Dec 18 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index
ended slightly lower in a volatile session on Friday as a drop
in energy and materials shares offset a huge jump in
heavyweight tech stock Research In Motion RIM.TO.
 RIM jumped 10.3 percent to C$73.96 after reporting a better
than expected quarterly profit and outlook late on Thursday.
 The stock pushed the TSX information technology sector up
by 2.3 percent. Altogether, five of the 10 TSX index subgroups
ended the session higher.
 "RIM's really been the standout performer," said Elvis
Picardo, strategist at Global Securities in Vancouver.
 Materials stocks weakened 0.78 percent, hit by an early
slide in copper prices and company-specific news. Gold miners,
however, put in a strong performance.
 Weighing on the sector was fertilizer producer Potash Corp
(POT.TO: Quote), which dropped 6 percent to C$112.00 after an analyst
downgrade, and base-metals miner HudBay Minerals HBM.TO,
which sank 8.8 percent to C$12.83 after it revealed
disappointing drill results at a deposit in Manitoba.
 All told, the S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE retreated
9.66 points, or 0.08 percent, to 11,463.40.
 The index initially appeared to close higher, but then
adjusted lower as final trades were calculated.
 Analysts said the concurrent expiry of stock options and
futures and stock index options and futures -- a quarterly
occasion known as quadruple witching -- contributed to the
market's volatility as big investors adjusted or exercised
derivative positions late in the session.
  ($1=$1.07 Canadian)
 (Reporting by Cameron French; editing by Peter Galloway)