(Updates to late morning trading) By Alastair Sharp TORONTO, April 24 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index rose slightly on Thursday, as gains in Potash Corp following better-than-expected results and in some heavyweight banks were offset by declines in gold miners. Potash shares rose 1.3 percent to C$38.85 after the world's biggest fertilizer company beat profit expectations in a tough quarter. But that gain was mitigated by slips in major gold miners Barrick Gold - off 0.7 percent at C$19.45 - and Goldcorp Inc, which was down 0.5 percent at C$27.14. The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index was up 24.39 points, or 0.17 percent, at 14,557.78 by mid-morning. It had fallen into the red briefly. Canada has been one of the best performing markets globally since the start of the year. On Wednesday the index hit 14,587.09, its strongest level since mid-2008. "We're noticing strong, large-cap names in Canada are moving very strongly to the upside," said Sid Mokhtari, a market technician at CIBC World Markets. "Canada was unloved for quite some time, and the big game changer is that the Canadian dollar is weak. That is going to benefit Western Canada." Energy companies were mixed - with a 6 percent drop in Pacific Rubiales Energy Corp and smaller slips in Suncor Energy Inc, Husky Energy Inc and Talisman Energy Inc. Pipeline company TransCanada Corp moved 0.7 percent higher, to C$50.18, while Enbridge Inc was up 0.3 percent at C$52.06. Among the financial stocks helping the index stay positive, Royal Bank of Canada added 0.3 percent to C$72.32 and Toronto-Dominion Bank gained 0.3 percent to C$51.78. (Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Nick Zieminski)
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