Toronto Stock Market Lower as Direction of Global Economy Questioned

Article excerpt

TSX weakens as global economy in focus

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TORONTO - The Toronto stock market ended lower on Tuesday as a renewed sense of caution swept over traders concerned about the global economy.

The S&P/TSX composite index dropped 24.15 points to 12,422.71, following a slate of new reasons to be cautious, including signs of slower economic growth. The TSX Venture Exchange was up 5.48 points to 1,322.64.

The Canadian dollar was up 0.08 to 102.61 cents US.

The TSX information technology sector led gainers, up 1.21 per cent, with Research In Motion Ltd. (TSX:RIM) shares gaining 17 cents to $7.24.

RIM signed a patent licensing agreement Tuesday with Microsoft Corp. to use the software company's latest file system technology on its smartphones, making the handling of large files easier.

Metals and mining stocks were the biggest decliners, off 1.2 per cent, as Teck Resources (TSX:TCK.B) shares fell 52 cents to $31.26.

"I think it's a little bit of a pause after what's been a very strong run in equity markets," said Gary Aitken, chief investment officer at Bissett Investment Management.

"You saw that last week with a lot more willingness for investors to be taking risk. We've had a big run -- markets don't go straight up -- so I think some sort of pause is inevitable."

Commodity prices were lower with October crude ending the session off $1.33 to US$95.29 a barrel.

December copper was down less than a cent at US$3.79 a pound while December bullion rose 60 cents to US$1,771.20 an ounce.

On Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrials rose 11.54 points to 13,564.64, the Nasdaq composite index backed off 0.87 of a point to 3,177.80, while the S&P 500 index slid 1.87 points to 1,459.32.

Top of mind are concerns about the global economy, and a delay in Spain's acceptance of a financial aid package. The country's markets have improved in recent weeks on expectations that the government will get some form of rescue loan from the 16 other eurozone countries. But, Madrid has not made any formal request yet, likely wary of the conditions that would come attached.

The delay pushed the country's bond yields sharply higher on Monday, suggesting an increase in investor concern about the government's finances. …