Mar 11, 2013 / 7:34 am
The Toronto stock market was lower Monday as commodity prices stepped back following the release of weaker than expected Chinese economic data over the weekend.
The S&P/TSX composite index declined 18.51 points to 12,817.1 and the TSX Venture Exchange was off 0.63 of a point to 1,117.22.
The Canadian dollar edged up 0.17 of a cent to 97.34 cents US.
U.S. markets were lower after the key Dow Jones industrial average ended last week at a record high, having recouped all the losses resulting from the 2008 financial crisis and the recession that followed.
Data over the weekend showed China's rate of economic expansion slowing at the beginning of the year.
Industrial production was up 9.9 per cent year over year in January while retail sales rose 12.3 per cent in February. However, both figures were below expectations and weaker than the previous month.
Worries also grew that China's central bank is reining in lending as other figures showed that new loans came in at a less than expected 620 billion yuan and inflation rose 3.2 per cent year over year in February, which was also higher than economists expected.
On the domestic economic front, data coming out at the end of the week is expected to show the Canadian housing market is cooling at a faster pace. Existing home sales for February are expected to show a 12.5 per cent year-over-year decline following a 5.2 per cent slide in January. Average prices for February are expected to slip one per cent.
In the U.S., investors will take in the February report on retail sales on Wednesday. It is expected sales rose by 0.5 per cent following a 0.1 per cent rise in January.
On Friday, the U.S. Consumer Price Index for February will be released. Economists forecast a 0.5 per cent rise, largely driven by higher gasoline prices.
Industrial production figures are also out Friday. They are expected to show a 0.6 per cent increase, led by auto production and mining.
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