* TSX falls 0.45 percent to 11,620.16
* Nine of 10 sectors lower after FOMC minutes
* Fed minutes show policy makers concerned with economy (Adds details)
By Ka Yan Ng
TORONTO, July 14 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index ended lower on Wednesday after the U.S. Federal Reserve signaled it was concerned about slowing growth and felt it should stand ready to consider additional steps to boost the U.S. economy if the outlook worsened.
The minutes from the U.S. central bank’s June 22-23 policy meeting, along with disappointing U.S. retail sales figures for June, shifted the balance of sentiment into negative territory. Earlier, the TSX was little changed with firm oil prices and healthy U.S. earnings offsetting the retail data. [ID:nN14122226] [ID:nN14148574]
“A lot of noise is in the marketplace. You just sort of have to work through. Ultimately it’s going to be day-by-day on how the market reacts to any kind of news,” said Brian Pow, vice-president, research and equity analyst at Acumen Capital Partners, in Calgary.
Volumes are also growing thinner, reflecting the onset of summer trading, Pow said, and that is likely to exaggerate market moves.
“Generally speaking, I think the volumes are going to be a little bit lighter and a little less indicative of what’s going on in the underlying economy,” said Pow.
The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE, down for a third time in eight sessions, ended 52.68 points, or 0.45 percent, lower at 11,620.16. Nine of its 10 main sectors were lower, including the energy group, down 0.69 percent.
U.S. crude oil futures had a volatile session, seesawing between inventory data and the Fed’s minutes, settling near $77 a barrel after rising above $78 earlier. [O/R]
The TSX’s financial group, often a play on the broader economy, was 0.47 percent lower, with Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO) down 0.58 percent at C$54.56 and Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO) off 0.59 percent at C$72.12.
Bank of Montreal (BMO.TO) bucked the trend, rising 0.57 percent to C$61.42.
Early support for the broader market came from robust quarterly results posted by Intel Corp (INTC.O), which sent positive signals across the cyclical technology industry and prompted at least four brokerages to raise their share price targets for the world’s largest chipmaker. [ID:nSGE66D0G3]
“Intel had its best quarter ever and that’s in your face to people who are predicting a double-dip (recession), and Intel’s third-quarter outlook is just as strong,” said Barry Schwartz, a portfolio manager at Baskin Financial Services.
Among active advancers on Wednesday was Sprott Inc (SII.TO), which rose as much as 11 percent after its incoming chief executive said the fund manager could double in size in five years as it rolls out new products and goes global. Sprott finished up 9.09 percent at C$3.60. [ID:nN14120737]
Shares of Ritchie Bros Auctioneers Inc RBA.TO fell 8.73 percent to C$19.45 on what analysts said were fears of a cut in the industrial auctioneer’s 2010 outlook for gross proceeds. Earlier, Ritchie stock fell to its lowest level in a year at C$18.80. [ID:nSGE66D0KB]
Looking to Thursday, the market will be focusing on a raft of major Chinese economic data, including figures on inflation, industrial output, retail sales and growth domestic product. ECONCN
$1=$1.03 Canadian Additional reporting by Claire Sibonney; editing by Rob Wilson