The Toronto stock market was lower Wednesday amid doubts about efforts to revive Japan's economy while traders looked to economic reports that may offer a clue about how long the Fed will continue with its economic stimulus plans.
The S&P/TSX composite index fell 75.15 points to 12,518.82.
The Canadian dollar rose 0.08 of a cent to 96.75 cents US amid a strong housing report.
Statistics Canada says municipalities issued $7 billion worth of building permits in April, up 10.5 per cent from March and far better than the month-to-month decline that analysts had expected.
U.S. indexes were lower as traders took in disappointing job creation data. Payroll firm ADP reported Wednesday that the U.S. private sector cranked out 135,000 jobs during May, less than the 165,000 that had been expected.
The ADP report comes two days before the release of the U.S. government's official employment data for last month.
The Dow Jones industrials declined 38.51 points to 15,139.03, the Nasdaq fell 2.26 points to 3,443 while the S&P 500 index was down 2.84 points to 1,628.54.
Traders will also take in the latest reading of the health of the U.S. non-manufacturing sector. The Institute for Supply Management's index was expected to show continuing expansion but at a slower pace, dipping slightly to 53 from 53.1 in April.
And at mid-afternoon, the U.S. Federal Reserve releases its latest regional economic survey.
Traders hope the data will help investors try and work out when the U.S. Federal Reserve may start reducing the amount of government bonds it has been buying in the markets as part of its stimulus program.