* TSX up 59.70 points at 13,092.37
* Eight of 10 main sectors stronger
* Potash, bank stocks lead gains (Recasts, updates to afternoon)
By Claire Sibonney
TORONTO, July 28 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index pushed higher in volatile trading on Thursday afternoon, recouping some of the previous sessions’s sharp losses as investors scooped up beaten-down bank shares and Potash Corp POT.TO earnings wowed investors.
The market rose in tandem with gains on Wall Street as stocks were boosted by an unexpected rise in pending U.S. home sales and a dip in U.S. jobless claims.
Heavily weighted financial shares led the gains following a steep sell-off over recent weeks, rising 0.6 percent. Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO) advanced 1.2 percent to C$51.93.
“I think we’ve reached some oversold conditions mostly on the financial side of the equation,” said Francis Campeau, a broker at MF Global Canada. Earlier in the session, the sector hit its lowest point in more than seven months.
Potash was the top heavyweight gainer, however, climbing 2.2 percent to C$57.28 as the world’s largest fertilizer maker reported a 75 percent increase in its quarterly profit on the back of surging grain prices that lifted demand for its crop nutrients. [nN1E76R08V]
At 2 p.m. (1800 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was up 59.70 points, or 0.5 percent, at 13,092.37. Eight of the 10 main index groups were higher.
The gains only partly undid the index’s 2 percent slide on Wednesday, which was spurred by anxiety over the political stalemate in the United States as the deadline for raising the U.S. debt ceiling looms.
“It’s worth noting how Canada’s stocks have been lagging U.S. stocks for the month of July,” Campeau said. “Our earnings were not as good as what we’ve seen on the U.S. side.”
Amid a slew of earnings reports by gold and energy producers on Thursday, those sectors led the declines.
Goldcorp Inc (G.TO) was the heaviest-weighted decliner on the index, down 3.9 percent to C$46.34. The gold producer said on Wednesday its second-quarter operating profit more than doubled but the company cut the midpoint of its expected 2011 gold production range by 6.5 percent as operational issues, project delays, and forest fires curtailed output in Mexico, Canada and the Dominican Republic. [ID:nN1E76Q1O3]
Barrick Gold Corp (ABX.TO) was also down, falling 0.7 percent to C$45.69, after the world’s largest gold miner reported a 35 percent increase in quarterly profit but warned of sizable increases in capital expenditures. [nN1E76R019]
“The sales numbers and earnings numbers were above expectations but I think the Street was disappointed about their rising costs,” Campeau said.
Suncor Energy (SU.TO) dropped 2.2 percent to C$37.31 after the oil and gas producer posted a slim 4 percent rise in second-quarter profit and said it did not anticipate further asset sales in 2011. [ID:nL6E7IS0CL]
After the bell, investors will be paying close attention to what is expected to be a close vote in the U.S. House of Representatives on a Republican debt reduction plan. The plan is likely to be rejected by the Democratic-led Senate. [nN1E76R004]
($1=$0.95 Canadian) (Editing by Peter Galloway)