The Toronto stock market moved lower and commodity prices slid amid data showing China’s manufacturing sector barely in expansion mode in April.
The S&P/TSX composite index lost 43 points to 12,047, led by declines in mining stocks, as HSBC reported that a preliminary survey suggests China’s manufacturing growth slowed in April.
Traders also took in a strong earnings reports from mining giant Teck Resources and gas company EnCana.
Teck posted an adjusted profit of $328-million, or 56 cents per share, in the first quarter, down from $544-million, or 93 cents per share in the same period last year. That beat analyst estimates of 37 cents a share.
Encana reported a $431-million (U.S.) net loss, or 59 cents per share, and $179-million or 24 cents per share of operating earnings in the three months ended March 31. The consensus estimate had been for nine cents per share of operating income, according to Thomson Reuters.
And in the tech sector, Celestica Inc. reported it had 16 cents per share of adjusted earnings, or $30-million, in the first quarter. That’s down from a year earlier and a penny short of analyst estimates but at the high end of the Toronto-based manufacturing company’s own guidance. Its revenue for the three months ended March 31 was US$1.37-billion, down about 19 per cent from the same time last year due to the loss of work for Research In Motion, now called BlackBerry.
The Canadian dollar was up 0.01 of a cent to 97.47 cents US as Statistics Canada reported that retail sales rose 0.8 per cent to $39.5-billion in February, a second consecutive monthly sales gain. However, the agency said that retail sales were flat after removing price changes, particularly higher gasoline prices.
U.S. indexes were positive with the Dow industrials ahead 87.96 points to 14,655.13, the Nasdaq rose 22.41 points to 3,255.97, while the S&P 500 index climbed 9.68 points to 1,572.18.
Further signs of a weakening Chinese economy pushed oil down $1.07 to $88.12 (U.S.) a barrel.