Mar 1, 2013 / 7:48 am
The Toronto stock market was lower as disappointing economic data from China punished commodity prices and resource stocks.
Traders also considered the effect of deep U.S. government spending cuts due to take effect today. It's known as the sequester and involves US$85 billion of across-the-board cuts.
The S&P/TSX composite index was off the worst levels of the session in the wake of better than expected U.S. consumer sentiment and manufacturing data.
The index fell 64.45 points to 12,757.38 while the TSX Venture Exchange was down 5.85 points to 1,127.51.
The Canadian dollar was up 0.06 of a cent to 97.02 cents US as Statistics Canada reported that gross domestic product grew at an annualized rate of 0.6 per cent in the fourth quarter, which matched expectations. However, GDP actually shrank in the final month of the year, dropping 0.2 per cent, which was also in line with economists' forecasts.
In other economic news, the U.S. Commerce Department said Friday that consumer spending rose 0.2 per cent in January, driven by an increase in spending on services, partly reflecting higher heating bills. Spending on durable goods, such as cars and appliances, fell 0.8 per cent.
Income fell 3.6 per cent in January, the biggest drop since January 1993. But it followed a hefty 2.6 per cent rise in December which reflected a rush by companies to pay dividends and bonuses before income taxes increased on top earners.
Prices for oil and copper registered sharp declines as government data showed that Chinese manufacturing activity expanded at a slower rate in February than January.
The base metals sector led declines, down about 1.7 per cent while May copper on the Nymex fell five cents to US$3.50 a pound. China is the biggest consumer of the metal.
The energy sector was down about one per cent as the April crude contract on the New York Mercantile Exchange fell $1.41 to $90.64 a barrel.
The gold sector was slightly lower while April gold gained $3.90 to US$1,582 an ounce.
All TSX sectors were lower save for the consumer discretionary segment, where shares in automaker Magna International (TSX:MG) rose $2.77 to $57.62 after it raised reported stronger than expected fourth-quarter results, raised its production outlook for 2013 and announced a dividend increase.
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|QHR Technologies Inc||0.55||-0.03|
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|Copper Mountain Mining||1.52||-0.16|
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