The Toronto stock market was lower Wednesday as weak corporate performances and retail sales data reminded traders of the fragile state of the economic recovery.
The S&P/TSX composite index moved down 30.1 points to 12,086.82 and the TSX Venture Exchange climbed 4.85 points to 1,244.17.
The Canadian dollar fell 0.44 of a cent to 100.6 cents (U.S.) amid a big miss on retail sales for June and falling prices for oil and copper.
Statistics Canada reported that retail sales fell 0.4 per cent, against expectations of a 0.1 per cent rise.
U.S. markets also backtracked with the Dow Jones industrials down 18.88 points to 13,184.7.
The Nasdaq gave back 12.9 points to 3,054.36 and the S&P 500 index declined 3.83 points to 1,409.34.
The metals and mining sector moved down 0.4 per cent as copper gave back some of Tuesday’s eight-cent runup, down a penny to $3.45 (U.S.) a pound. Teck Resources shed 27 cents to $29.65.
The energy sector was off 0.43 per cent as demand concerns pushed the October crude price on the New York Mercantile Exchange down 25 cents to $96.59 (U.S.) a barrel. Suncor Energy pulled back 20 cents to $31.99.
Financials were also weak as Royal Bank eased 28 cents to $53.77.
The gold sector was the leading advancer even as December bullion slipped 90 cents to US$1,642 an ounce. Barrick Gold Corp. rose 29 cents to $36.77.
The TSX edged up 41 points Tuesday on hopes that the European Central Bank will address the problem of high borrowing costs for heavily indebted countries such as Spain by buying government bonds.
Traders will also focus on the release mid-afternoon of minutes from the U.S. Federal Reserve’s last interest rate meeting for any indications that the central bank may be thinking about further stimulus measures.