CANADA STOCKS-TSX perks up on upbeat outlook, U.S. earnings

* TSX up 0.25 percent at 12,132.24

* Financial stocks lead index higher

* Materials held down by fertilizer issues

By Claire Sibonney

TORONTO, April 14 (BestGrowthStock) – Toronto’s main stock index
edged higher on Wednesday morning, with financials leading the
gains on upbeat U.S. economic data and company earnings, but
held in check by retreating fertilizer issues.

Stronger March retail sales in the United States and
forecast-beating results from U.S. bank JPMorgan (JPM.N: ) and
tech heavyweight Intel (INTC.O: ) helped boost optimism about the
economic recovery and pushed global equities higher.
[ID:nN14143321]

The TSX financial index made hefty gains as Royal Bank of
Canada (RY.TO: ), the country’s biggest lender, shot up 1.6
percent to C$60.45 and Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO: ) added 1.5
percent to C$75.70.

“Financials are certainly reacting nicely to the JPMorgan
numbers and a belief that the rest of the U.S. financials are
healing and there will be some good sequential earnings going
forward into 2011 as the economy recovers,” said Barry
Schwartz, a portfolio manager at Baskin Financial Services.

Gold and copper prices also rose, lifting the mining sector
0.7 percent, as a fresh dip by the U.S. dollar added to
positive sentiment in the market. [GOL/]

Barrick Gold Corp (ABX.TO: ), the world’s biggest gold
producer, was little changed at C$40.39, while Teck Resources
(TCKb.TO: ), Canada’s biggest base metal producer, gained 0.7
percent to C$45.26.

At 10:56 a.m. (1445 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s
S&P/TSX composite index (.GSPTSE: ) was up 30.72 points, or 0.25
percent, at 12,132.24. Six of its 10 main sectors were lower.

Shares of Potash Corp of Saskatchewan (POT.TO: ), and other
fertilizer producers held back the index’s rise, dragging it
briefly into negative territory earlier in the session.

Potash Corp the world’s biggest producer of the crop
nutrient, dropped 3.3 percent to C$108.60 after after reports
North American producers were having a tough time getting a
proposed $30 per ton price increase in the U.S. to stick.

In addition, Potash Corp and U.S. rival Mosaic Co (MOS.N: )
were downgraded by Goldman Sachs. Fertilizer producer and farm
products retailer Agrium Inc (AGU.TO: ) fell 4.8 percent to
C$64.11.

“There seems to be a wheat surplus and good wheat
harvesting season in Australia. That doesn’t bode well for
commodity prices and application of potash for farmers for
2010,” said Schwartz. “That’s holding back the Canadian
market.”

The energy sector, up 0.3 percent, reversed earlier losses
after U.S. government oil inventory data showed crude oil
stocks fell last week, against expectations for a build.
[O/R]

Shares of Suncor Energy Inc (SU.TO: ), Canada’s largest oil
company, jumped more than 1 percent to C$35.18, while Canadian
Natural Resources (CNQ.TO: ) edged 0.8 percent higher to
C$78.77.

Stocks

($1=$1 Canadian)
(Reporting by Claire Sibonney; editing by Rob Wilson)

CANADA STOCKS-TSX perks up on upbeat outlook, U.S. earnings