Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Economic Worries Push TSX Down for Fourth Session despite Positive Earnings

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Economic Worries Push TSX Down for Fourth Session despite Positive Earnings

Article excerpt

TSX lower despite positive earnings

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TORONTO - The Toronto stock market closed lower Wednesday despite a wave of positive Canadian earnings reports and indications that China's manufacturing slump may have bottomed out.

The S&P/TSX composite index fell for a fourth day, down 30.81 points to 12,195.02 with traders still focused on a slowing global economy. The TSX Venture Exchange was off 0.76 of a point at 1,288.75.

The Canadian dollar shed early gains to move down 0.23 of a cent to 100.51 cents US amid weak commodity prices. It had earlier traded as high as 101.22 cents US, a day after the Bank of Canada maintained its bias towards future interest rate hikes and mentioned the possibility of high household debt levels playing a role in raising rates.

U.S. indexes were also lower on top of steep losses Tuesday after earnings disappointments from DuPont chemical and conglomerate 3M Inc. reinforced a gloomy view of global economic prospects.

The Dow Jones industrials declined 25.19 points to 13,077.34, the Nasdaq composite index was down 8.76 points to 2,981.7 and the S&P 500 index slipped 4.36 points to 1,408.75.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Federal Reserve took no new action during its two-day policy meeting.

Having announced a third round of economic stimulus in September, it wants time to assess whether those aggressive steps will boost growth and job creation.

There was a further sign of a revival in the U.S. housing sector as data showed that new home sales for September rose 5.7 per cent to an annualized rate of 389,000, well above consensus estimates of 382,000 and the highest level since April, 2010.

The TSX found some lift from positive news from China, the world's second-biggest economy.

A preliminary version of HSBC's monthly purchasing managers' index rose to a three-month high of 49.1 points. That still was below the 50-point level that would indicate expansion, but nevertheless a strong improvement from September's 47.9 reading.

The base metals sector was 1.32 up per cent as December copper was unchanged at US$3.56 a pound. Worries about deteriorating economic conditions pushed copper down 18 cents over the previous four sessions.

Teck Resources Ltd. (TSX:TCK.B) shares were 85 cents higher at $31.39 as the Vancouver-based producer of copper, coal and other minerals announced plans to severely slash capital spending this year and next in the face of a slowing global economy. Teck also reported net income attributable to shareholders of $180 million or 31 cents per diluted share, compared with $814 million or $1.37 is the same 2011 period. Revenue was $2.5 billion, down from $3.38 billion.

The industrials sector rose 1.36 per cent as Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. (TSX: CP) said its third-quarter net income was $224 million, an increase of $37 million or 20 per cent, and diluted earnings per share were $1. …

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