CANADA STOCKS-TSX hits two-month low, Potash leads retreat

Thu Jan 28, 2010 12:14pm EST
 
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* TSX down 1.43 percent at 11,181.61

* Potash Corp drops more than 6 percent

* Suncor leads energy producers down (Adds details, quotes; updates prices)

By Claire Sibonney

TORONTO, Jan 28 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index hit its lowest level in more than two months on Thursday after disappointing results from market heavyweight Potash Corp (POT.TO: Quote) sent shares of the world's largest fertilizer maker tumbling.

Potash Corp of Saskatchewan led the index's decline, plunging 6.3 percent to C$109.24, after the company reported earnings well below market expectations. [ID:nN28196679]

"It's obviously a bit of a down-drag," said Bruce Latimer, a trader at Dundee Securities.

"A stock that carries that much weight on the Toronto Stock Exchange index is going to have an impact."

But it wasn't all bad news for producers of the key crop nutrient. Athabasca Potash API.TO, up C$1.59 or 23.9 percent at C$8.30, was one of the highest percentage gainers after global mining giant BHP Billiton (BHP.AX: Quote)(BLT.L: Quote) agreed to buy it for C$341 million ($323 million) in cash, expanding its asset base in the potash-rich province of Saskatchewan. [ID:nLDE60R1SH]   Continued...