UPDATE 1-Toronto stocks fall on sour outlooks, commodities

Thu Apr 24, 2008 11:14am EDT
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(Adds details, analyst)

By Jonathan Spicer

TORONTO, April 24 (Reuters) - The Toronto Stock Exchange's main index, absorbing a rush of quarterly results, fell below the 14,000-level threshold on Thursday morning as company outlooks disappointed and commodities tumbled.

The index was little changed in early action but the bottom fell out when heavyweight Potash Corp of Saskatchewan POT.TO took a sharp downturn, adding to losses in the energy and gold sectors.

Potash, the world's top fertilizer producer, which has played a leading role in the TSX index's overall rise this month, was down 4.9 percent and represented the TSX's biggest weighted loser.

Commodities -- which have supported the resource-heavy TSX this year amid a broad downturn in other stock markets -- offered little support for a second straight day.

"The danger is that everybody is piling into the same assets at the same time ... and people are getting nervous," Andrew Martyn, portfolio manager at Davis-Rea, said of the energy and materials sectors.

The S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was down 141.02 points, or 1.0 percent, at 13,928.78. Briefly, it dropped more than 200 points.

Potash Corp tripled its quarterly profit and boosted its outlook, but analysts said the overbought stock was due for some profit-taking. For details, see: [nN24234332]   Continued...