CANADA STOCKS-TSX eases in muted response to U.S. bank results

Fri Oct 12, 2012 10:59am EDT
 
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* TSX down 13.84 points, or 0.1 pct, at 12,220.11
    * Financials, materials shares down; energy shares up

    By Claire Sibonney
    TORONTO, Oct 12 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index was
slightly lower on Friday morning as negative market reaction to
quarterly results from a pair of major U.S. banks added to
prevailing concerns about slowing global economic growth.
    Shares of JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo & Co
 both fell after they released their results, even though
JPMorgan posted record profits, prompting Canadian financials to
follow suit, dropping 0.2 percent. 
    Bank of Nova Scotia was down 0.3 percent at
C$53.31, and Toronto-Dominion Bank was 0.2 percent lower
at C$80.85.
    "Everybody is focusing more on the uncertainty created not
only by Europe, but the U.S. fiscal cliff, the upcoming
elections in November, all of those I think are larger than the
earnings expectations," said John Ing, president of Maison
Placements Canada.
    Helping to push the index lower was a 0.4 percent drop in
its materials sector on weak metals and grain prices. 
 Barrick Gold dropped 1 percent to C$38.65, and
Potash Corp was down 0.9 percent to C$41.04.
    At 10:33 a.m. (1233 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange's
S&P/TSX composite index was down 13.84 points, or 0.1
percent, at 12,220.11.
    Energy shares limited the fall, edging up 0.1 percent as
U.S. crude futures advanced. 
    The rise in oil prices, however, was dampened by a report
from the International Energy Agency (IEA) that said ample
supply from North America and Iraq, coupled with declining
global demand, could lead to an easing of oil prices over the
next five years. 
    Canadian Natural Resources rose 0.9 percent to
C$30.28, and Suncor Energy climbed 0.2 percent to
C$32.39.
    Also helping sentiment, Thomson Reuters/University of
Michigan data showed U.S. consumer sentiment rose unexpectedly
in October to its highest level in five years as optimism about
the overall economy improved.