CANADA STOCKS-TSX ends flat as golds ‘save the day’

* TSX slips 0.03 percent to 12,564.09

* Golds surge, nearly offset 8 declining sectors

* Potash profit jumps but stock ends lower
(Adds details)

By Ka Yan Ng

TORONTO, Oct 28 (BestGrowthStock) – Toronto’s main stock index
ended slightly lower on Thursday as strength in gold-mining
issues was not quite enough to offset broad weakness in other
index sectors and a drop in Potash Corp (POT.TO: ) shares.

Eight of the index’s 10 main groups were lower, but a 1.3
percent rally in materials, home to gold-mining stocks,
balanced the losses, even a 3.8 percent decline by heavyweight
Potash Corp.

The fertilizer giant posted quarterly results and issued an
outlook that far surpassed expectations on Thursday, but its
stock dropped on a report that Ottawa is leaning toward
blocking BHP Billiton’s (BHP.AX: ) $39 billion hostile takeover
bid. [ID:nN28266653]

Overall, the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite
index (.GSPTSE: ) finished down 3.16 points, or 0.03 percent, at
12,564.09.

The gold-mining subgroup gained 2.6 percent, spurred by
firm bullion prices and strong earnings at Barrick Gold
(ABX.TO: ) on Thursday, as well as at Goldcorp (G.TO: ) and
Agnico-Eagle (AEM.TO: ) the day before. [ID:nN28108425]
[ID:nN27265533]

Barrick rose 2.41 percent to C$48.07, while Goldcorp jumped
4.59 percent to C$45.31. Agnico-Eagle gained 6.03 percent to
C$77.23.

Supporting the resource-heavy index, commodity prices
firmed as the U.S. dollar slipped, with investors eagerly
awaiting next week’s key U.S. Federal Reserve meetings.

“A weak U.S. dollar brings strong gold, and combined with
strong earnings, gold stocks save the day,” Francis Campeau,
broker at MF Global Canada, in Montreal.

Miners were also boosted after Canadian lawmakers on
Wednesday defeated a controversial bill that would have raised
the bar on their human rights and environmental standards
overseas. [ID:nN27254250]

Figures on Thursday that showed new U.S. claims for
unemployment benefits fell to a three-month low last week were
seen as reducing the chances of the Fed taking drastic action
to ease monetary policy to try to stimulate the economy.

“People are tempering their expectations on the amount of
(Fed) quantitative easing just based on the economic data,”
said Youssef Zohny, associate portfolio manager at Van Arbor
Asset Management in Vancouver.

The market also reacted to a heavy load of corporate
results.

Nexen Inc (NXY.TO: ) and Cenovus Energy Inc (CVE.TO: ) said
operational problems weighed on their quarterly results,
prompting investors to pull away from shares of the Canadian
oil sands producers. [ID:nN28262354]

Cenovus Energy shed 1.8 percent to C$28.57, while Nexen
slipped 1.25 percent to C$21.35.

Contract electronics maker Celestica Inc (CLS.TO: ) plunged
5.4 percent to C$8.59 after posting a quarterly profit that
trailed estimates, hurt by lower demand. [ID:nSGE69R0IO]

Business software maker Open Text (OTC.TO: ) slumped 4.82
percent to C$44.45 after it reported a 52 percent jump in
quarterly profit, but had disappointing licensing revenue.
[ID:nN27142091]

But big-screen movie company Imax Corp (IMX.TO: ) surged
12.95 percent to C$21.89 after reporting an 80 percent rise in
quarterly earnings, beating estimates. It forecast its theater
network will grow faster in 2010. [ID:nSGE69B0JO]

And RioCan Real Estate Investment Trust (REI_u.TO: ) rose
1.5 percent to C$22.83 after its results beat expectations.
[ID:nSGE69Q0N7]

Research In Motion (RIM.TO: ) ended little changed at
C$57.35, after dropping more than 3 percent earlier in the
session after Oppenheimer cut the rating on the BlackBerry
maker to “perform” from “outperform”, citing mounting
competition. [ID:nWNAB7672]

($1=$1.02 Canadian)
(Additional reporting by Claire Sibonney; editing by Peter
Galloway)

CANADA STOCKS-TSX ends flat as golds ‘save the day’