January 25, 2008 / 9:44 PM / 11 years ago

UPDATE 4-Toronto stocks little changed after see-saw day

(Updates closing numbers, adds detail)

TORONTO, Jan 25 (Reuters) - Early gains on the Toronto Stock Exchange’s main index fizzled out on Friday, leaving the index little changed at the end of the day as investors opted to lock in profits after a week that swung wildly up and down.

A decline in banking shares helped offset advances in the materials sector and robust gains for Potash Corp of Saskatchewan POT.TO.

Potash, the world’s biggest fertilizer producer, climbed C$4.05, or 3.1 percent, to C$133.98 a day after it doubled its fourth-quarter profit and offered a positive forecast for the year. The materials sector, home to resource shares, rose 1.4 percent.

The financial sector, the largest on the index, was off 0.7 percent, while Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO) fell C$1.02, or 1.5 percent, to C$66.28 after Commerce Bancorp Inc (CBH.N) said its fourth-quarter profit fell, while its credit losses quintupled. Commerce is being bought by TD.

The S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed down 12.43 points, or 0.1 percent, at 12,894.84 after racing up by more than 200 points in the morning.

The index has traversed a range of about 1,200 points this week, amid continuing uncertainty over the health of the U.S. economy and the impact it could have on global growth.

The index surged 500 points on Tuesday, pulling out of a five-day nosedive that culminated in a 600-point freefall on Monday. The index managed to end the week 1.2 percent higher, after closing up in three of five sessions.

On Friday, six of the TSX’s 10 main index’s were in negative territory.

The tech sector gave up 1.6 percent, with Research In Motion RIM.TO down C$3.40, or 3.6 percent, at C$91.91. The consumer staples sector shed 0.8 percent, while cheese producer Saputo Inc (SAP.TO) fell C$1.20, or 4.3 percent, to C$46.31.

$1=$1.01 Canadian Reporting by Leah Schnurr; Editing by Peter Galloway

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