Newspaper article The Canadian Press

TSX Up after String of Losses Caused by Greek Turmoil, Weak Economic Outlooks: TSX Moves Higher after String of Losses

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

TSX Up after String of Losses Caused by Greek Turmoil, Weak Economic Outlooks: TSX Moves Higher after String of Losses

Article excerpt

TORONTO - The Toronto stock market broke a six-session losing run Thursday as traders used a selloff resulting from Sunday's inconclusive Greek elections as an opportunity to pick up some beaten-down equities.

The S&P/TSX composite index ran ahead 61.16 points at 11,736.17 while the TSX Venture Exchange gained 9.62 points to 1,355.31.

However, nervousness hit the Canadian dollar, which closed down 0.08 of a cent to 99.83 cents US as traders continued to avoid riskier assets such as resource-based currencies, including the loonie, amid the latest round of eurozone turmoil.

New York's Dow Jones industrials rose 19.98 points at 12,855.04.

The Nasdaq composite index slipped 1.07 points to 2,933.64, weighed down by a negative outlook from Cisco Systems. Cisco's stock fell $1.97 or 10.49 per cent to US$16.81. The S&P 500 index was ahead 3.41 points at 1,357.99.

Positive jobs data helped support stocks Thursday. Weekly jobless claims in the U.S. edged downward last week, suggesting that employers may accelerate hiring this month. Applications dropped by 1,000 to a seasonally adjusted 367,000 in the week ended May 5, the U.S. Labour Department said Thursday.

The recent selloff on the TSX left the market about two per cent lower than where it started the year.

Besides the latest round of uncertainty in Europe, stocks and commodities have also been pressured by signs of slowing economies in China and the United States.

"It's really based on commodities and demand from the emerging markets," said Kevin Headland, director of the portfolio advisory group at Manulife Asset Management.

"They are growing but at a slower pace and I think the consensus was an expectation of continued strong markets and I think maybe that was a bit of a pipe dream."

Meanwhile, analysts expect talks to form a Greek government will go nowhere and that Greeks will go back to the polls in June.

There are some hopes in the markets that in new elections Greeks who want the country to remain in the euro currency bloc will support the main pro-euro parties, facilitating the creation of a moderate coalition government.

"There is talk maybe the Greeks will have realized OK, this was my vote against austerity, now we're going to look at one of the other parties," Headland said.

"But again, how much does Greece matter? It's more about what is going to happen with Spain and is there going to be some kind of knock on effect on their debt and perhaps Italy's and that's a bigger issue going forward."

In the meantime, Greece is being held together by an international bailout. And analysts warn that Greece could run out of money as soon as next month without a government to negotiate the next level of its bailout.

On Thursday, China's weak import growth data raised fears the world's second-biggest economy wasn't doing enough to stimulate domestic demand amid an economic slowdown. …

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