CANADA STOCKS-TSX ends three-day slide on mining strength

Tue Apr 19, 2011 4:55pm EDT
 
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   * TSX up 34.50 points at 13,736.83
 * Four of 10 main groups rise, led by materials
 (Updates with details, comments)
 By John McCrank
 TORONTO, April 19 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index
ended a three-day slide on Tuesday as high commodity prices --
including record gold prices -- helped spur a rally among
miners, pulling the index from its lowest point in a month.
 The index's mining-heavy materials sector advanced 1.39
percent as gold topped $1,500 an ounce and silver hit a 31-year
high above $43 an ounce. Precious metals prices rose as a weak
greenback, crude oil gains and worries about sovereign debt
problems in Europe encouraged safe-haven buying.
[ID:nLDE73I0RF] [ID:nL3E7FI1AA] [GOL/]
 Mining shares have been languishing as of late as investors
question whether or not the recent rally in commodities is
sustainable.
 "The gold group is still lagging the price of gold, but
that could change if gold continues to rally," said Elvis
Picardo, analyst and strategist at Global Securities in
Vancouver.
 Gold miner Agnico Eagle (AEM.TO: Quote) rose 4.44 percent to
C$63.95, Silver Wheaton (SLW.TO: Quote) rose 2.24 percent to C$41.00,
and First Quantum Minerals (FM.TO: Quote) rose 3.16 percent to
C$120.49.
 Diversified miner Teck Resources TCKb.TO jumped 5.86
percent to C$51.62 after the company posted earnings late on
Monday that more than doubled those reported a year earlier and
beat expectations. [ID:nN19294036] [ID:nN18242433]
 Also in the materials group, Potash Corp (POT.TO: Quote) was up
2.99 percent at C$54.84. Canpotex, the overseas potash
marketing arm of Potash Corp, Mosaic (MOS.N: Quote) and Agrium
(AGU.TO: Quote), said it will develop a railcar maintenance facility
in Saskatchewan to help boost the amount of potash it can
transport. [ID:nN19294544]
 The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
.GSPTSE ended up 34.50 points, or 0.25 percent, at 13,736.83.
Just four of its 10 main groups were higher.
 Trading was light ahead of the Easter long weekend and
Passover, so moves may have been exaggerated, said Paul Hand,
managing director at RBC Capital Markets.
 "In the absence of specific moves I wouldn't read a lot
into moves in stocks until we're well through this period and
into next week," he said.
 The heavyweight financials and energy sectors were nearly
flat.
 The technology group was down 0.47 percent, dragged lower
by Research In Motion RIM.TO, which one of the biggest
decliners on the day, off 3.77 percent at C$50.85. The maker of
the BlackBerry launched its PlayBook on Tuesday in hopes of
winning customers away from Apple's dominant iPad tablet
computer, but lineups of buyers were scarce. [ID:nN19146402]
 "It's been a little bit of a disappointment as far as the
launch is concerned," Picardo said.
 He said that with earnings season starting, there might be
more action on the TSX next week.
 "Investors seem to be in a pretty unforgiving mood as far
as earnings are concerned, so any company that disappoints is
going to be cut down quite sharply."
  ($1=$0.96 Canadian)
 (Reporting by John McCrank; editing by Peter Galloway)