CANADA STOCKS-TSX shrugs off election, but RIM dents gains
* TSX ends up 10.02 points, or 0.07 pct, at 14,039.39
* Seven of 10 main sectors higher
* RIM shares fall more than 10 percent (Updates to close, adds details, quotes)
By Claire Sibonney
TORONTO, March 25 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index shrugged off the fall of Canada's Conservative government on Friday and nudged higher as stronger resource shares offset a plunge in Research In Motion RIM.TO.
RIM tumbled more than 10 percent to C$55.78 after the BlackBerry maker warned that heavy spending on its PlayBook tablet launch would drag on earnings. [ID:nN25234112]
Opposition parties brought down the minority Conservative government in Parliament on Friday, setting the scene for an early May election that polls indicate the Conservatives would win. [ID:nN25229687]
"The market is really anticipating the status quo," said Youssef Zohny, portfolio manager at Van Arbor Asset Management in Vancouver.
He said the only real surprise would be a Liberal-New Democratic Party coalition government after the election. "That would definitely be negative on the energy sector," he added, noting possible changes in regulation and taxation.
The index's energy sector was the lead gainer on Friday, up 0.8 percent, despite a dip on oil prices, as bargain hunters rushed in to buy beaten-down shares following a recent decline. Suncor Energy (SU.TO: Quote) rose 0.9 percent to C$44.12 and Cenovus Energy (CVE.TO: Quote) advanced 2 percent to C$37.69
Fertilizer producers helped the index's materials sector, which rose 0.3 percent. Potash Corp (POT.TO: Quote) jumped nearly 3 percent to C$56.12 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 also rose, climbing 0.9 percent to C$87.77.
The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed up 10.02 points, or 0.07 percent, at 14,039.39 after rallying as high as 14,130.41 earlier in the session. Seven of the index's 10 sectors were stronger
Zohny said investors likely cut risks as the weekend neared due to continued uncertainty over the euro zone crisis, Middle East turmoil, and the nuclear crisis in Japan.
($1=$0.98 Canadian) (Reporting by Claire Sibonney; editing by Peter Galloway)
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