Markets lower, miners retreat
(Baystreet Stock Market Update (Canada) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Trading hampered by weather
The Toronto stock market was lower Friday as mining stocks lost ground amid disappointing data from China.
The S&P/TSX composite index stumbled 86.83 points to greet noon at 13,527.36.
The Canadian dollar recovered 0.45 cents to 94.18 cents U.S.
Base metal prices backed off as China's official non-manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index fell to a four-month low, coming in at 54.6 in December from 56 in November. A reading above 50 indicates expansion.
The non-manufacturing PMI covers services including retail, aviation and software as well as the real estate and construction sectors.
The base metals sector was down as March copper on the New York Mercantile Exchange lost three cents to $3.35 U.S. a pound.
Thompson Creek Metals shed four cents to $2.49 while Capstone Mining lost three cents to $2.97.
The energy sector lost strength as February crude on the Nymex slipped 23 cents to $95.21 U.S. a barrel on top of a $3 slide Thursday. Imperial Oil shed 37 cents to C$46.25.
February bullion gained and the gold sector was flat.
Techs were generally supportive while Celestica rose 17 cents to $11.18.
The TSX Venture Exchange gained 3.01 points to 942.22
All but three of the 14 TSX subgroups were lower, with metals and mining stocks sinking 1.4%, energy, down 1.1% and global base metals sliding 0.8%.
The three gainers were health-care, gaining 0.7%, information technology, nicking up 0.1% and gold eking up 0.04%.
Equity markets were mixed by the lunch break on Friday.
The Dow Jones industrial average added 8.99 points to 16,450.34 midday
The S&P 500 index fled lower 1.38 points to 1,830.60. The NASDAQ turned negative 15.29 points to 4,127.78.
Still, the slim gains weren't enough to erase completely Thursday's 1% declines.
Trading volume is expected to remain low Friday, as a major snowstorm in the Northeast keeps traders away at the end of the holiday week.
Though the broader market's moves were relatively muted, Twitter shares continued to surge. The social media company's stock was up more than 2%, following a 6% jump on Thursday.
Shares of T-Mobile were sharply lower after rival AT&T said it would offer up to $450 U.S. to customers who switch from T-Mobile.
Car makers were also in focus as they announced sales figures for December.
Shares of General Motors, Ford and Toyota were all lower after they all reported weaker December sales than expected.
Chrysler reported strong sales for December, and a full-year sales increase of 9%.
Sales have been strong across the auto industry in 2013, with automakers selling more than 15 million vehicles in the U.S. and finishing their strongest sales year since 2007.
Prices for 10-year U.S. Treasuries sagged a bit, raising yields to 3% from Thursday's 2.99%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.
Oil prices fell 74 cents to $94.70 U.S. a barrel.
Gold prices grew $10.60 to $1,235.80 U.S. an ounce.
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