* TSX rises 0.2 pct to 11,561.07
* CN Rail leads decliners despite forecast-beating results
By Ka Yan Ng
TORONTO, Oct 21 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index held higher on Wednesday morning as gold-mining and bank shares rose, overtaking weakness from Canadian National Railway (CNR.TO).
Early trade was volatile, but strength in Barrick Gold (ABX.TO), Potash Corp POT.TO, and Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO) overcame weakness in CN Rail, which weighed on the market despite better than expected results.
Barrick led all notable advancers with a 2 percent gain to C$40.45, helped by a firmer price of gold above $1,055 an ounce.
Royal Bank was up 0.7 percent at C$56.94, while Potash Corp rose 1.8 percent to C$109.
CN Rail fell 2.2 percent to C$53.82 the day after the country’s biggest railway repeated cautiously upbeat comments that the worst of the economic downturn was over, but also pointed out it still faced economic head winds. [ID:nN14246637]
At 11 a.m. (1500 GMT), the S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was up 22.95 points, or 0.2 percent, at 11,561.07. At market open, the TSX dropped 55 points.
“The market shows resilience whenever we have any sort of pullback,” said Ian Nakamoto, director of research at MacDougall, MacDougall & MacTier. “We’re pretty close to the 52-week high. We’re still bumping at the ceiling rather than the floor.”
Nakamoto said corporate earnings in the U.S. have generally beaten expectations, and he looked forward to seeing how Canadian results would fare. A few Canadian earnings have trickled in, but the bulk come out in the next two weeks.
He said he expected the TSX to build on recent gains now that the Bank of Canada has repeated its commitment to keep rates low. [ID:nN19231469]
“That’s a ‘go’ sign. What I mean by that is that you’re not going to face competition from rising interest rates, which tends to sap money away ... A combination of low interest rates, better than expected profits, tells me that it’ll still continue to move up,” said Nakamoto.
In other news, Research In Motion RIM.TO is rolling out an updated version of its top-end BlackBerry Bold smartphone, aimed at the company’s base of professional users as well as wealthier retail consumers. RIM stock was off 0.6 percent at C$69.42. [ID:nN20434496] (Editing by Rob Wilson)