Thursday, October 8th13.9°C

Toronto stock market declines amid strong U.S. housing, consumer confidence data

TORONTO - The Toronto stock market closed lower Tuesday despite strong U.S. housing and consumer confidence figures.

The S&P/TSX composite index dropped 143.26 points to 14,962.37. The Canadian dollar was down 0.15 of a cent to 93.08 cents US.

U.S. indexes also backed off with the Dow Jones industrials down 119.13 points at 16,818.13, while the Nasdaq was 18.32 points lower at 4,350.36 and the S&P 500 index declined 12.63 points to 1,949.98.

Traders digested data showing that U.S. home prices rose in April from a year ago at the slowest pace in 13 months, reflecting a recent drop-off in sales. The Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller 20-city home price index rose 10.8 per cent in April from 12 months earlier, down from 12.4 per cent the previous month and the smallest increase since March 2013.

But the U.S. Commerce Department reported that new home sales surged 18.6 per cent in May to an annual rate of 504,000, the fastest pace in six years. That was much higher than the 440,000 reading that economists had expected.

Also, the New York-based Conference Board's June reading on consumer confidence ran ahead to 85.2, much higher than the expected reading of 83.

However, indexes in Toronto and New York are close to record highs and investors wonder where the next catalyst is coming from. Also, inflationary pressures are building, raising concerns about when the U.S. Federal Reserve might boost interest rates.

Most TSX sectors were negative with the gold sector falling 2.75 per cent after rising about six per cent over the last half dozen sessions. Gold prices and stocks have steadily advanced this month because of geopolitical worries centred on Iraq and tensions between Ukraine and Russia. The August bullion contract in New York rose $2.90 to US$1,321.30 an ounce.

The energy sector was 2.44 per cent lower as oil prices edged lower with the August crude contract on the New York Mercantile Exchange down 14 cents to US$106.03 a barrel.

Oil prices had risen steadily over the past couple of weeks amid a rising insurgency in Iraq. But prices fell on Monday as fears receded that the insurgency would greatly affect the country's oil production and exports.

Still the energy sector is the strongest TSX performer, up about five per cent over the last month alone as investors focus on the greater certainty offered by the Canadian oilpatch.

"It’s shining a light on that issue," said Ben Jang, portfolio manager at Nicola Wealth Management in Vancouver.

"Obviously, war is a terrible thing but, like the song, 'War: What Is It Good For?' — it is good for the Canadian equity market really."

The base metals sector was down 1.68 per cent while copper was unchanged at US$3.15 a pound following a three-cent rise Monday sparked by strong Chinese data.

On the corporate front, Bell Media, the radio and television division of BCE Inc. (TSX:BCE), is laying off as many as 120 employees, or about five per cent of its Toronto workforce, due to “financial pressure” in its advertising and subscription TV services. BCE shares dipped 20 cents to $48.33.

AGF Management Ltd. (TSX:AGF.B) shares were down 50 cents to $12.28 as the mutual fund operator and wealth management company reported it had $14.5 million or 17 cents per share of net income in its fiscal second quarter, contrasting with a year-earlier loss of $10.4 million or 12 cents per share. Revenue from continuing operations was down from a year earlier, dropping to $119.1 million from $126.9 million.

The Canadian Press

Read more Business News

Recent Trending

Today's Market
S&P TSX13978.66+110.31
S&P CDNX547.04+4.59
S&P 5002013.43+17.60
CDN Dollar0.7705+0.002
Natural Gas2.483-0.015

Okanagan Companies
Pacific Safety0.23+0.01
QHR Technologies Inc1.23-0.02
Metalex Ventures0.05+0.00
Russel Metals21.55-1.57
Copper Mountain Mining0.61-0.02
Colorado Resources0.07-0.01
ReliaBrand Inc0.0166+0.0135
Sunrise Resources Ltd0.02+0.00
Mission Ready Services0.08-0.01
Decisive Dividend Corp3.11-0.10
Diamcor Mining0.94+0.06



more details
Click here to feature your property
Please wait... loading

Income for life?

Photo: Thinkstock.comIn almost every conversation I have with clients these days, the topic swings to interest rates. What direction they’re going, how long will they stay where they are and how...

Perfect (reno'd) home

Photo: Thinkstock.comHow many times have you found a home in the perfect location, but it needs too much work as per the home inspection? There is a great program available through most lenders that w...

5 Claim misconceptions

Photo: Thinkstock.comIf you have been hurt in an accident or as a result of medical negligence you will likely look to your friends and family for some advice on how to deal with the situation. These ...




Member of BC Press Council