CANADA STOCKS-TSX falls on golds, Fed and Potash in focus

* TSX slips 0.15 percent to 12,661.79

* Golds main drag, energy and financials limit decline

* Focus on Potash Corp, Agrium

* Fed’s details on next stimulus plan due at 1815 GMT
(Adds details)

By Ka Yan Ng

TORONTO, Nov 3 (BestGrowthStock) – Toronto’s main stock index was
lower on Wednesday morning, with golds the main drag, but
activity was muted ahead of the U.S. Federal Reserve’s monetary
policy decision later in the session.

Steadier U.S. economic data on Wednesday undercut prices
for safe-haven gold, pulling down Toronto-listed gold miners
such as Kinross Gold (K.TO: ), off 1.3 percent at C$17.89, and
Agnico-Eagle (AEM.TO: ) down 1.46 percent at C$76.85. Overall,
index’s the materials group was down 0.55 percent.

The index’s hefty energy and financial groups held modest
gains, up 0.3 percent and 0.21 percent, respectively, helping
to limit the decline. Six of the index’s 10 main groups were

At 10:30 a.m. (1430 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s
S&P/TSX composite index (.GSPTSE: ) was off 19.63 points, or 0.15
percent, at 12,661.79, ahead of the Fed announcement, due
around 2:15 p.m.

The U.S. central bank is widely expected to launch a second
round of stimulus to shore up the flagging U.S. economy by
implementing a program of bond buying.

That has put pressure on the U.S. dollar, which has boosted
commodity prices. But on Wednesday morning, the U.S. dollar was
steadier on a pair of U.S. economic reports for October.

One report showed the U.S. services sector expanded more
than expected, while another showed U.S. private employers
added more jobs than expected.

Markets are generally priced for the Fed to commit to
buying between $80 billion and $100 billion worth of assets per
month under a new program to bolster the economy.

“It’s factored and already discounted into the marketplace.
I think that the likely trend for the Canadian market is the
U.S. dollar, which is expected to sink further and that will
help out our commodity stocks,” said John Ing, president of
Maison Placements Canada.

Fertilizer companies were in the spotlight with a crucial
ruling from the Canadian government coming later on Wednesday
on whether to allow Anglo-Australian miner BHP Billiton’s $39
billion takeover bid for Potash Corp (POT.TO: ) to go ahead.
Meanwhile, earnings at fellow potash producer Agrium (AGU.TO: )
missed estimates and the stock slid 4.2 percent to C$84.32.

Potash Corp was up 0.4 percent after the chairman of
Russia’s Phosagro said that Russian fertilizer companies should
club together to buy a stake in Potash Corp to block BHP
Billiton. Meanwhile, a Saskatchewan Indian group said it has
raised C$25 billion toward a making a bid for the fertilizer
company, the world’s biggest, a newspaper in Saskatchewan
reported on Wednesday. [ID:nSGE6A20C8] [ID:nWLA6987]

Taseko Mines (TKO.TO: ) dropped more than 30 percent to
C$4.55 the day after the government of Canada decided to halt
development of a controversial copper-gold mine in British
Columbia. [ID:nN02153973]

($1=$1.01 Canadian)
(Reporting by Ka Yan Ng; editing by Peter Galloway)

CANADA STOCKS-TSX falls on golds, Fed and Potash in focus