August 31, 2010 / 9:09 PM / in 7 years

CANADA STOCKS-Golds lift TSX in uncertain session

* TSX up 18.31 points, or 0.15 percent, at 11,913.86

* RIM drops 5.5 percent after brokerage survey

* Half of TSX’s 10 main sectors higher (Adds details)

By Jennifer Kwan

TORONTO, Aug 31 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index ended slightly higher on Tuesday on strength in gold miners, as bullion prices climbed on broader uncertainty about the economic recovery.

Barrick Gold (ABX.TO), the world’s No. 1 producer, rose 1.5 percent to C$49.95, while Goldcorp (G.TO) was up nearly 2 percent at C$47.30. [GOL/]

Despite the higher close, however, investors remained generally uncertain about the fragile recovery after minutes of the U.S. Federal Reserve’s policy meeting, said Elvis Picardo, an analyst and strategist at Global Securities in Vancouver.

The outlook for the U.S. economy would have to deteriorate “appreciably” to spur fresh support from the Federal Reserve, the minutes released on Tuesday showed. [ID:nN31253959]

“That news comes at a times when investors are already very skittish, already very nervous about the prospects of U.S. economic growth,” said Picardo.

The minutes added to already cautious market sentiment on mixed economic data.

U.S. consumer confidence rose modestly in August and U.S. home prices gained more than expected in June, while another report released on Tuesday showed the pace of growth in business activity in the U.S. Midwest slowed in August. [ID:nN31237504]

In Canada, the economic growth rate slowed more than than expected in the second quarter on lower consumer spending and a weaker trade performance, but the figures rattled the Canadian dollar rather than equity markets. [ID:nN31233897]

The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE finished the day up 18.31 points, or 0.15 percent, at 11,913.86, with half of the index’s 10 main groups higher. The TSX ended the month up 1.7 percent.

The blue chip S&P/TSX 60 index .TSE60 closed 0.20 of a point higher, or 0.03 percent, at 694.05.

On the downside the hefty energy sector was off 0.6 percent, with Suncor Energy (SU.TO) sliding 1.9 percent to C$32.31 and Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO) down 0.7 percent at C$34.30.

Oil prices slid as traders positioned ahead of weekly inventory reports that are forecast to show U.S. crude stocks rose last week. [O/R]

Financials sagged 0.1 percent, with Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS.TO) down 1.3 percent at C$51.25 after it posted a higher quarterly profit but came in slightly below expectations. [ID:nN31226185]

Research In Motion RIM.TO tumbled 5.5 percent to C$45.70 after a brokerage survey suggested the company was under threat as its corporate customers may soon abandon the BlackBerry in favor of the Apple (AAPL.O) iPhone or Andriod-based (GOOG.O) smartphones. [ID:nSGE67U0GH]

On the upside, Magna International Inc MGa.TO rose 4.3 percent to C$83.04 as the auto parts giant moved ahead with its plan to buy out founder Frank Stronach’s controlling share block, and end its dual-class share structure. [ID:nN31236354]

Magna common shares will be listed at the opening on Wednesday under the new stock symbol MG.

$1=$1.07 Canadian Reporting by Jennifer Kwan; editing by Rob Wilson

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