June 11, 2008 / 8:40 PM / 11 years ago

UPDATE 2-Toronto stocks wobble as economic fears weigh

(Updates closing numbers, adds details, quotes)

*TSX ends little changed as economic fears drag

*Agrium surges after the company lifts profit outlook

*Energy sector climbs along with oil prices

TORONTO, June 11 (Reuters) - The Toronto Stock Exchange’s main index closed lower for the fourth day in a row on Wednesday, as support from agriculture and other resource companies was offset by worries over inflation.

Shares of Agrium AGU.TO touched a fresh record high after the company raised its profit outlook amid strong sales of fertilizer, seed and chemicals. Agrium closed up C$7.77, or 8.3 percent, at C$102.00.

But worries over the impact of inflation on the global and domestic economy weakened the market, while oil prices rose more than $5 after data showed U.S. stockpiles fell sharply.

The S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed down 19.68 points, or 0.13 percent, at 14,716.52. In the last four sessions the benchmark has shaved off 1.8 percent, thanks largely to a more than 200-point drop on Tuesday.

On the agriculture front, Potash Corp of Saskatchewan POT.TO added C$2.45, or 1.1 percent, to C$227.33. Potash’s chief executive told a conference in Toronto that fertilizer prices are not near a peak. The larger materials sector rose 0.8 percent.

Energy shares gained 1.7 percent, lifted by the climbing price of oil. Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO) was up C$2.56, or 2.5 percent, to C$105.26, and Suncor Energy (SU.TO) added C$1.43, or 2.1 percent, to C$68.76.

But other than the small tech group, every other sector was lower, caught up in worries over the impact on consumer spending in the midst of red-hot oil prices, as well as fears of more trouble in financials south of the border.

On Bay Street, the banking sector gave up 1.8 percent, with National Bank of Canada (NA.TO) down C$1.75, or 3.3 percent, at C$51.83, and Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CM.TO) off C$1.45, or 2.2 percent, to C$63.30. ($1=$1.02 Canadian) (Reporting by Leah Schnurr; Editing by Frank McGurty)

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