CANADA STOCKS-Resources lead TSX higher; RIM drags

Fri Mar 25, 2011 11:34am EDT
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   * TSX up 93.88 points, or 0.67 pct, at 14,123.25
 * Nine of 10 main sectors higher
 * RIM shares fall more than 10 percent
 (Updates with details, comment)
 By Solarina Ho
 TORONTO, March 25 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index
was firmly higher Friday morning as resource strength led
broad-based gains, more than offsetting a plunge by Research In
Motion RIM.TO.
 Fertilizer giant Potash Corp (POT.TO: Quote) was the lead
advancer, gaining 3.84 percent to C$56.58, after Chicago Board
of Trade corn futures rose on news of a large sale of U.S. corn
that was likely bound for China. Agrium Inc (AGU.TO: Quote) also rose,
climbing 2.34 percent to C$89.07.
 The overall materials group, home to miners, was up 1.52
 Gold miners gained with rising bullion prices, which
advanced as European sovereign debt worries and violence in the
Middle East and North Africa underpinned the metal's safe-haven
appeal. Barrick Gold (ABX.TO: Quote) rose 1.35 percent to C$51.00.
 "You have quite a bit of strength here showing in the
resource plays and that's basically what's supporting the
markets at this time," said Gareth Watson, vice-president of
investment management and research at Richardson GMP.
 At 10:57 a.m. (1457 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange's
S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was up 93.88 percent, 0.67
percent at 14,123.25.
 RIM tumbled 10.43 percent to C$55.97 after the BlackBerry
maker warned that heavy spending on its PlayBook tablet launch
would drag on earnings. The overall technology group was the
lone decliner out of the 10 main groups, retreating 1.73
percent. [ID:nN24175647]
 Oil and gas issues gained 1.15 percent, helped by energy
giants such as Suncor Energy (SU.TO: Quote), which rose 1.67 percent
to C$44.46. The group was bolstered by oil prices that rose on
continued upheaval in Libya and other oil-rich countries in the
region. [O/R]
 Positive sentiment south of the border also spilled over
into Canada, said Watson.
 "The general upbeat tone coming into the open -- even
though you had the bad RIM results last night, you had pretty
strong results out of Oracle -- so that's something that's
carried through to this morning," he noted.
 Software maker Oracle, a technology bellwether, forecast a
rise in sales, fueling hopes that a global resurgence in
technology spending remained intact. [.N]
 Meanwhile, U.S. fourth-quarter GDP data showed that the
neighboring economy -- Canada's major trading partner -- grew
more quickly than forecast. [ID:nLDE72O1JO]
 ($1=$0.98 Canadian)