CANADA STOCKS-TSX advances as gold snaps back, Potash rises
* TSX up 0.5 percent at 11,788.06
* Potash rises 3 pct, BHP to take offer to shareholders
* Gold turns higher, energy cuts losses (Updates to midafternoon)
By Ka Yan Ng
TORONTO, Aug 18 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index was higher on Wednesday afternoon, supported by a turnaround in gold-mining stocks, and with the rise accentuated by hopes of a higher bid for takeover target Potash Corp.
Gold stocks were broadly higher after a soft start, led by Barrick Gold (ABX.TO: Quote), up 1.8 percent at C$56.71, while Goldcorp (G.TO: Quote) rose 2.8 percent to C$43.49. Agnico-Eagle AEM.TO advanced 1.6 percent to C$65.09.
The reversal came as the price of gold rose to a 1-1/2 month high after being lower early in the day, extending a rally to a fifth session after a break above a key technical level triggered a fresh round of aggressive fund buying. [GOL/]
"Gold is moving again. It continues to attract support every time it dips a little bit," said Elvis Picardo, analyst and strategist at Global Securities in Vancouver.
At 1:55 p.m. (1755 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was up 59.42 points, or 0.5 percent, at 11,788.06, with seven of its 10 main groups higher on the day. Continued...