The Toronto stock market turned lower in early trading Friday on broad declines across most major sectors.
Only the information technology sector was higher, after a surprising financial report from BlackBerry-maker Research In Motion (TSX:RIM).
The S&P/TSX composite index moved down 61.83 points to 12,277.02. The TSX Venture Exchange crept up 0.2 of a point to 1,322.51.
The Canadian dollar slid 0.16 of a cent to 101.79 cents US.
Shares of RIM gained 12.4 per cent, or 86 cents, to $7.82. The technology company said after markets closed Thursday that its quarterly loss was US$235 million or 45 cents per diluted share compared with a profit of $329 million or 63 cents per share a year ago.
RIM’s adjusted loss was $142 million or 27 cents per share, and while large, the loss was still much better than the 47 cents per share loss expected by analysts polled by Bloomberg.
The company’s stock, once a major influencer of the TSX, has lost much of its clout on the market as its share price eroded.
This trading session also marks the end of the quarter, which can lead to some volatile trading as investors buy and sell large amounts of stock.
On Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrials backed off 100.99 points to 13,384.98. The Nasdaq composite index slipped 13.98 points to 3,122.62 and the S&P 500 index was off 9.54 points to 1,462.44.
In commodities, November crude on the New York Mercantile Exchange moved down 20 cents to US$91.65 a barrel.
December gold bullion decreased $5.40 to US$1,775.10 an ounce, while December copper was up one cent at US$3.76 a pound.
Statistics Canada reported that the economy grew by 0.2 per cent in July, after a downwardly revised 0.1 per cent rise in June. The July figure was better than the 0.1 per cent expected by analysts.
Investors also remained cautious over Spain, a day after the country’s government announced big spending cuts it hopes will convince potential bailout creditors and investors that it has a rock-solid plan to heal its public finances.
The positive momentum generated by Thursday’s Spanish budget ground to a halt Friday as investors waited for results of stress tests on 14 of the country’s banks, which are expected after European markets close.
Rating agency Moody’s is also expected to pronounce on its view on Spain’s creditworthiness. There are concerns that the agency will downgrade Spain’s government debt to junk status.
By midday in Europe, shares were down, with Germany’s DAX 0.5 per cent lower at 7,256.71 and the CAC-40 in France off 1.3 per cent at 3,394.82. The FTSE 100 index of leading British shares was 0.1 per cent lower at 5,775.45.
On Thursday, the Spanish government said it planned to cut overall spending by C40 billion ($51 billion) in 2013, a move that won a generally positive response in financial markets. Many investors think the cuts will lay the ground for Spain, the fourth-largest economy in the eurozone, to seek financial help from fellow countries in the bloc and the European Central Bank.
Earlier in Asia, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index rose 0.4 per cent to 20,840.38 and South Korea’s Kospi added nearly 0.4 per cent to 1,996.21. But Japan’s Nikkei 225 index lost 0.9 per cent to 8,870.16, sinking on a government report that showed industrial production fell a further 1.3 per cent in August.
The Shanghai Composite Index gained 1.5 per cent to 2,086.17 and the Shenzhen Composite Index rose 1.9 per cent to 853.83.