CANADA STOCKS-TSX ends flat as golds 'save the day'

Thu Oct 28, 2010 4:36pm EDT
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* TSX slips 0.03 percent to 12,564.09

* Golds surge, nearly offset 8 declining sectors

* Potash profit jumps but stock ends lower (Adds details)

TORONTO, Oct 28 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index ended slightly lower on Thursday as strength in gold-mining issues was nearly enough to offset broad-based weakness and a drop in Potash Corp POT.TO shares.

Eight of 10 main groups were lower, but a 1.3 percent rally in materials, home to gold-mining stocks, nearly offset the losses elsewhere, even a 3.8 percent decline by Potash Corp.

Overall, the Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE finished down just 3.16 points, or 0.03 percent, at 12,564.09.

The gold subgroup gained 2.6 percent, spurred by firm bullion prices and strong earnings at Barrick Gold ABX.TO on Thursday, as well as Goldcorp G.TO and Agnico-Eagle AEM.TO the day before. [ID:nN28108425] [ID:nN27265533]

Barrick rose 2.41 percent to C$48.07, while Goldcorp jumped 4.59 percent to C$45.31. Agnico-Eagle gained 6.03 percent to C$77.23.

"A weak U.S. dollar brings strong gold, and combined with strong earnings, gold stocks save the day," Francis Campeau, broker at MF Global Canada, in Montreal.

Potash Corp. posted quarterly results and issued an outlook that far surpassed expectations, but its stock dropped on a report that Ottawa is leaning toward blocking BHP Billiton's BHP.AX $39 billion hostile bid for the fertilizer giant. [ID:nN28266653] (Reporting by Ka Yan Ng; editing by Rob Wilson)