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

Thu Oct 28, 2010 5:04pm 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)

By Ka Yan Ng

TORONTO, Oct 28 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index ended slightly lower on Thursday as strength in gold-mining issues was not quite enough to offset broad weakness in other index sectors and a drop in Potash Corp (POT.TO: Quote) shares.

Eight of the index's 10 main groups were lower, but a 1.3 percent rally in materials, home to gold-mining stocks, balanced the losses, even a 3.8 percent decline by heavyweight Potash Corp.

The fertilizer giant posted quarterly results and issued an outlook that far surpassed expectations on Thursday, but its stock dropped on a report that Ottawa is leaning toward blocking BHP Billiton's (BHP.AX: Quote) $39 billion hostile takeover bid. [ID:nN28266653]

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

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