TSX little changed amid thin holiday volumes commodities mixed

TORONTO — The Toronto stock market started the week slightly lower as gold stocks continued to add to the huge losses racked up this year amid thinner-than-usual volumes as 2013 trading winds down.The S&P/TSX composite index slipped 2.92 points to 13,585.06.The Canadian dollar climbed 0.09 of a cent to 93.51 cents US.New York markets were weak with the Dow Jones industrials up 12.17 points to 16,490.58, the Nasdaq lost 11.31 points to 4,145.28 while the S&P 500 index dipped 0.34 of a point to 1,841.06.On the economic front, there is nothing on the Canadian calendar while traders will take in U.S. data on pending home sales for November.Economists forecast the gauge from the National Association of Realtors will show a rise of 1% after a 0.6% drop in October. An increase would come after five months of declines.Later in the week, they will take in the latest readings on house prices, consumer confidence and the American manufacturing sector.The gold sector led decliners, down 1.35% while February bullion lost $7 to US$1,207 an ounce, adding further damage to a sector already down almost 50% for the year. Barrick Gold (TSX:ABX) faded 21 cents to C$18.47 while Goldcorp (TSX:G) gave back 32 cents to $22.79.The base metals sector was flat with March copper on the Nymex unchanged at US$3.38 a pound. HudBay Minerals (TSX:HBM) shed 10 cents to $8.57.Techs led advancers with Constellation Software (TSX:CSU) ahead $3.89 to $220.50.The energy sector was slightly higher while the February crude contract on the New York Mercantile Exchange was 34 cents lower to US$99.98 a barrel.Consumer staples were also supportive.The TSX is preparing to end 2013 with a respectable gain of about 9%. Gains would have been greater if not for deep losses in the mining sectors. Besides the gold sector, the base metals component has retreated 22%.In sharp contrast, the Dow industrials have plowed ahead 26%.In corporate news, Montreal-based TransForce Inc. (TSX:TFI) has come out the winner in a two-way bidding war for Vitran Corp. (TSX:VTN), another Canadian trucking and logistics company. Toronto-headquartered Vitran is now supporting TransForce’s offer of US$6.50 per share in cash for the stock it doesn’t already own. The deal is valued at US$136 million, including US$29 million of debt that will be assumed by TransForce. TransForce shares ran ahead 42 cents to $25.33 while Vitran was unchanged at $7.13.U.S.-based Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. is calling off its proposed $2.2 billion buyout by India’s Apollo Tyres, a deal that would have created the world’s seventh largest tire company. Cooper said Monday that financing is no longer available and that it still believes Apollo breached the terms of the agreement.Meanwhile, European bourses were mainly in the red as London’s FTSE 100 index lost 0.29%, Frankfurt’s DAX gave back 0.39% while the Paris CAC 40 was flat.This was a strong year for many markets, with the DAX up 26%, the CAC index up 18.4% and the FTSE 100 gaining 14%. But none matched Tokyo’s Nikkei 225, which soared 56.7% in 2013 on renewed confidence in the economy after years of feeble growth. Easy liquidity from government spending and monetary policies aimed at fuelling inflation boosted shares, though the potential for continued strong gains remains uncertain.On Monday, the Nikkei 225 index ended 2013 at its highest level in more than six years.The Japanese benchmark gained 0.7% to 16,291.31 on Monday, its highest close since late 2007.For the rest of Asia, 2013 has turned out to be much less exuberant.Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index, burdened by rising concern over debt and slowing growth in mainland China, has gained just 2.4% this year. On Monday, it edged 0.2% lower while the Shanghai Composite Index fell 7% this year and extended that loss Monday, drifting 0.1% lower. read more

Read More

Canadian dollar heads higher amid positive but muted Chinese data

AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Canadian dollar heads higher amid positive, but muted Chinese data by Linda Nguyen, The Canadian Press Posted Jul 10, 2014 7:23 am MDT TORONTO – The Canadian dollar rose Thursday amid positive if lacklustre economic data from China and a slight increase in oil prices.The loonie gained 0.11 of a cent to 93.92 cents US.Overnight, China reported that its June exports grew 7.2 per cent in dollar terms from a year earlier, accelerating slightly from May’s seven per cent growth.The advance was a small sign of improvement for the world’s second-largest economy, but still left concerns over the country’s uneven recovery as imports remained muted amid weak domestic demand.“There’s a bit of optimism with China’s customs office expecting exports growth to accelerate in the third quarter. Imports could also pick up based on improving signs of manufacturing and services activity in the past two months,” said Ryan Huang, a market strategist at IG, said in a commentary.Meanwhile, Statistics Canada says its new housing price index rose 0.1 per cent in May, largely due to higher new home prices in the Prairie region. The Calgary area, where prices rose 0.8 per cent, recorded the largest monthly price advance among the municipalities covered by the survey.But the most anticipated economic data to come out this week will be the Canadian jobs report on Friday.“As we continue to look for signs of economic improvement, the picture around unemployment is critical,” said Tim Caulfield, co-lead manager at Franklin Bissett Canadian Equity Fund.Statistics Canada is expected to report that about 24,000 jobs were created last month compared with 25,800 in May, with the jobless rate remaining unchanged at seven per cent.The Canadian currency continues to look for hints that the fundamentals supporting it, including oil prices, will remain strong. Despite an uptick Thursday, oil has been falling steadily for more than a week as geopolitical concerns surrounding the world’s oil supply have eased.Political strife had shut ports and disrupted oil production in Libya. But recent agreements with local militias should see those ports reopening, while production began ramping up at a major Libyan oilfield earlier this week.Still, the August crude contract on the New York Mercantile Exchange climbed 64 cents to US$102.03 a barrel on Thursday, its first increase in two weeks.August gold bullion was up $14.90 to US$1,339.20 an ounce, while September copper rose two cents to US$3.27 a pound.Follow @LindaNguyenTO on Twitter. read more

Read More