CANADA STOCKS-TSX steady as market digests Fed move, weak Potash results

Thu Jan 30, 2014 10:47am EST
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* TSX up 14.71 points, or 0.11 percent, at 13,657.93
    * Nine of 10 main index sectors advance
    * Potash drops 4.5 percent after quarterly report
    * Gold-mining shares slip with price of bullion

    By John Tilak
    TORONTO, Jan 30 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index was
little changed on Thursday as investors processed the U.S.
Federal Reserve's decision to further scale back its stimulus
and a weak quarterly report from Potash Corp that sent
the company's shares lower.
    Shares of Potash tumbled 4.5 percent after the world's
biggest fertilizer company reported a sharply lower quarterly
profit and gave 2014 forecasts that were below Wall Street
    Overall, gains in almost every major sector helped offset a
slump in gold-mining shares, which took a hit after the price of
bullion dropped.
    The Fed on Wednesday said it would trim its bond purchases
by another $10 billion despite recent turmoil in emerging
    Investors remained nervous about recent signs of weakness in
emerging-market economies and currencies and were trying to
gauge how the latest Fed taper might impact the broader appetite
for equities.
    "Sentiment remains cautious. You're seeing a lot of
volatility," said John Ing, president of Maison Placements
Canada. "Risk has returned to the market."
    Ing sees a rebound in gold-mining shares over time as prices
for the commodity stabilize.
    The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
 was up 14.71 points, or 0.11 percent, at 13,657.93.
Nine of the 10 main sectors on the index were higher.
    Financials, the index's most heavily weighted sector, added
0.2 percent, with insurers advancing. Manulife Financial Corp
 climbed 1 percent to C$20.71, and Sun Life Financial
Inc rose 0.8 percent at C$36.66.
    The materials sector, which includes mining stocks, gave
back 1.6 percent. Potash was down at C$33.99. 
    Goldcorp Inc lost 3.2 percent to C$26.77, and Barrick
Gold Corp slipped 0.9 percent to C$21.63.