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At the open: Commodities drive down Dow, TSX Add to ...

North American stocks fell at the start of trading on Tuesday, with commodity producers and related companies leading the retreat over concerns about China’s economy.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 96 points or 0.7 per cent, to 13,143. The broader S&P 500 fell 9 points or 0.7 per cent, to 1,400. In Canada, the S&P/TSX composite index fell 93 points or 0.7 per cent, to 12,387.

The declines began after the head of BHP Billiton Ltd.’s iron ore division said that China’s consumption was declining this year – feeding wider concerns about its demand for commodities.

Among Dow components, Alcoa Inc. fell 2.6 per cent, Caterpillar Inc. fell 2.6 per cent and Chevron Corp. fell 1.2 per cent. Among Canadian commodity producers, Barrick Gold Corp. fell 0.9 per cent, Suncor Energy Inc. fell 0.8 per cent and Teck Resources Ltd. fell 2.5 per cent.

Meanwhile, Bank of America Corp. rose 2.1 per cent and Cisco Systems Inc. rose 0.4 per cent. Apple Inc. , which announced on Monday that it would use some of its tremendous cash hoard to pay a dividend and buy back shares, fell 1.2 per cent, taking the share price back below the $600 threshold.

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