November 18, 2009 / 1:30 PM / in 8 years

TSX edges higher in "sideways" session

TORONTO (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index finished higher on Wednesday, after languishing at the break-even level for most of the afternoon, following early buying that sent the resource-heavy index to a 13-month high.

Influential names on the upside included Potash Corp of Saskatchewan, up 3 percent at C$120.00, and Toronto-Dominion Bank, which rose 1.2 percent to C$68.29.

While the market managed to eke out gains near the session’s close, trade was largely directionless for latter half of the day.

“The market has done very well here in the past couple of weeks,” said Levente Mady, market strategist at Union Securities in Vancouver.

“Certainly, you can make the argument that it is a little overdone and due for a pause. The fact that we’re going sideways as opposed to pulling back decisively certainly is constructive market action.”

As well, there was a lack of drivers on the upside for Canadian stocks, said Elvis Picardo, an analyst and strategist at Global Securities in Vancouver.

“At this point, investors are content to digest the gains and say see where we go from here.”

The S&P/TSX composite index finished the day up 22.69 points, or 0.2 percent, at 11,652.69. Earlier, it rose 72 points to 11,702.24, which marked its highest level since October 2008.

Energy and gold-mining stocks, which helped power the early rally, were among the later drags on the index as many investors ignored higher oil and record gold prices above $1,150 an ounce.

Influential names on the downside included Barrick Gold, which dropped 2.9 percent to C$46.10, and Suncor Energy, down 0.8 percent at C$38.56.

Also weighing on the market was Research In Motion, which fell 2 percent to C$63.25. BMO Capital Markets downgraded the BlackBerry maker to “market perform” from “outperform,” citing concerns about its 2011 earnings.

The blue chip S&P/TSX 60 index closed 1.13 points higher, or 0.16 percent, at 693.41.

($1=$1.05 Canadian)

Reporting by Jennifer Kwan; editing by Rob Wilson

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