CANADA STOCKS-TSX ekes out gain as Potash, banks rise; gold miners slip

(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)