Toronto stock market to rise amid tepid Chinese data, traders look to earnings - InfoNews

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Toronto stock market to rise amid tepid Chinese data, traders look to earnings

The fading name on the building in Toronto that used to house the Toronto Stock Exchange is pictured on August 18 2011. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Aaron Vincent Elkaim
January 03, 2014 - 5:18 AM

TORONTO - The Toronto stock market looked set to move slightly higher Friday amid disappointing data from China and preparations for the start of the U.S. fourth quarter earnings season next week.

The Canadian dollar rose 0.41 of a cent to 94.1 cents US amid a generally weaker U.S. currency.

New York futures were positive with the Dow Jones industrial futures ahead 23 points to 16,411, the Nasdaq futures gained 4.5 points to 3,563.8 while the S&P 500 futures climbed three points to 1,829.5.

Base metal prices backed off as China's official nonmanufacturing 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 nonmanufacturing PMI covers services including retail, aviation and software as well as the real estate and construction sectors.

North American markets got off to a lacklustre start to 2014 trading Thursday amid a slate of data showing manufacturing sectors in China, the U.S. and Canada still expanding but at a slower pace.

March copper on the New York Mercantile Exchange lost three cents to US$3.35 a pound. February crude on the Nymex added five cents to US$95.49 a barrel.

February bullion gained $4.60 to US$1,229.80 an ounce.

Meanwhile, traders are increasingly looking to market fundamentals after the U.S. Federal Reserve ended months of speculation last month and announced it would be cutting back on a key area of stimulus, its US$85 billion of monthly bond purchases. Those purchases are credited with supporting a strong rally on stock markets during 2013, including a 30 per cent surge in the S&P 500 to a record high.

Now, investors will focus on corporate earnings to see if those advances were justified.

The coming week will see earnings reports from heavyweights including resource company Alcoa and financial giants American Express, JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo.

Bloomberg News says that earnings are expected to rise just 3.7 per cent in the fourth quarter, excluding financial companies.

European bourses were positive amid data showing that European banks are lending less to companies in another sign the continent’s economic upswing remains less than robust.

The European Central Bank reported Friday that loans to companies slipped by 3.1 per cent in November from a year earlier. Analysts say some companies are afraid to borrow due to uncertain growth prospects while others are sitting on adequate cash reserves.

London's FTSE 100 rose 0.17 per cent, Frankfurt's DAX gained 0.41 per cent and the Paris CAC 40 climbed 0.69 per cent.

Earlier in Asia, South Korea’s Kospi gave up 1.1 per cent after Hyundai Motor Co. and Kia Motors Corp. said they expect sales growth in 2014 to be their weakest in a decade.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng tumbled 2.3 per cent.

Tokyo was closed for the last day of its New Year’s break.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2014
The Canadian Press

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