Toronto stock exchange set to open little changed amid mixed manufacturing data | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Toronto stock exchange set to open little changed amid mixed manufacturing data

January 02, 2014 - 5:32 AM

TORONTO - The Toronto stock market looked set to start the 2014 trading year little changed as traders digested a mixed bag of manufacturing data from China and the eurozone.

The Canadian dollar was down 0.11 of a cent to 93.91 cents US.

U.S. futures were in the red as traders also looked ahead to the release later in the morning of the Institute for Supply Management's latest reading on the American manufacturing sector.

Economists expect the index to show a slight slowdown in expansion, coming in at 57, down slightly from 57.3 in November.

The Dow Jones industrial futures down 23 points to 16,471, the Nasdaq futures declined 8.8 points to 3,575 and the S&P 500 futures lost 2.75 points to 1,838.25.

Two manufacturing surveys released Thursday showed Chinese activity slowed in December. The China Federation of Logistics & Purchasing said its purchasing managers index declined to 51 from November’s 51.4 on a 100-point scale on which numbers above 50 show an expansion. A separate survey by HSBC Corp. declined to 50.5 from November’s 50.8.

The eurozone December manufacturing purchasing managers index was confirmed at 52.7 as expected.

However, results across the region were mixed.

The French reading was revised slightly down, but the German reading was revised marginally higher.

Italy's PMI edged higher while Spain's reading cleared the 50-mark, which signals expansion.

"The overall Eurozone number also backs hopes for a strengthening of economic activity this year, which is encouraging," observed a commentary from Action Economics.

Commodity prices were mixed in the wake of the manufacturing data with the February crude contract on the New York Mercantile Exchange down 85 cents to US$97.57 a barrel.

March copper was up a cent to US$3.41 a pound while February bullion was ahead $12.40 to US$1,214.70 an ounce.

North American markets started a fresh trading year on the back of a solid lift for 2013 with the TSX ahead 9.55 per cent. Gains would have been stronger had it not been for a slide of almost 50 per cent in the gold sector and a 21-per-cent tumble in base metals.

U.S. markets racked up stronger advances, benefiting from another year of stimulus measures from the Federal Reserve with the Dow jumping 26.5 per cent.

On the corporate front, TransCanada Corp. (TSX:TRP) has acquired an additional new solar power generation facility in eastern Ontario. The Mississippi Mills project near Pakenham has 10 megawatts of generating capacity. The deal is part of an agreement to acquire a total nine solar power generation plants in Ontario from Canadian Solar Solutions Inc.

The price of Fiat shares on the Milan exchange soared 12 per cent after the Italian automaker announced it had clinched a deal to acquire the rest of Chrysler.

Fiat SpA said Wednesday night that it had reached an agreement with the United Auto Workers union-controlled trust fund holding 41.5 per cent of Chrysler’s shares. Fiat already possesses the remaining shares. Fiat says it will pay $1.75 billion in cash. Another $1.9 billion will be paid as extraordinary dividends.

European bourses were in the red as London's FTSE 100 index lost 0.21 per cent, Frankfurt's DAX was down 0.45 per cent and the Paris CAC 40 fell 0.87 per cent.

Earlier in Asia, China’s benchmark Shanghai Composite Index shed 0.3 per cent in the wake of the manufacturing data. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index lost 0.1 per cent.

Tokyo was closed for the New Year’s holiday. Seoul lost 2.2 per cent.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2014
The Canadian Press

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